Edwards tells President: Louisiana ready for 'newer sense of normalcy;' Huge testing run will help
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The governor, while meeting with the president and vice president at the White House Wednesday, was appreciative of the support from the federal government and backed federal health guidelines tied to how states should reopen businesses in the wake of coronavirus lockdowns.
The governor was in Washington, D.C., for the meeting Wednesday morning. Among those joining the governor and president were Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Deobrah Birx and the vice president. Louisiana Department of Health executive Dr. Alex Billioux also attended the meeting.
The governor said early testing has helped Louisiana build data on the virus and the state is organizing to test 43 people per 1,000 in Louisiana with the help of an average ability to run 200,000 tests a month.
“That’s great,” the president said about the increase in testing.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to have the tests kits that we need… to get to the 200,000,” the governor said.
“We’re going to be in much better shape,” the governor said in the Oval Office meeting.
“This is the big piece that we’ve been looking for,” the governor said.
“We know the importance of testing; We can’t treat what we can’t find,” Dr. Billioux added.
“All of that is coming,” the president said about the test kits being sent in May.
“We look forward to getting past this, returning to a newer sense of normalcy; We’re looking forward to moving ahead. We appreciate your work, and your contributions,” the government told the president.
The increase in testing availability will push Louisiana in a stronger direction to reopening, the governor has said.
A stay-at-home order is mandated until mid-May, slowing business and forbidding large gatherings. Medical procedures returned this week and, come Friday, some curbside retail offerings can resume and outdoor dining can be done at restaurants without interaction from restaurant staff.
Edwards has worked closely with the White House amid the virus outbreak and has referenced the White House plan for reopening businesses lately, as he has discussed the initial startup of the state after a mid-March lockdown.
Watch WBRZ newscasts Wednesday for details on the governor’s meeting with the White House.
Edwards said he will not hold a daily news conference Wednesday because of his travel, but will return with televised remarks Thursday.
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