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Polis meets with Trump to secure coronavirus supplies

May 14, 2020 GMT
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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on the coronavirus response, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Wednesday, May 13, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting on the coronavirus response, in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Wednesday, May 13, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

DENVER (AP) — Gov. Jared Polis said Wednesday that President Donald Trump has committed to sending 96,000 tests for the coronavirus to Colorado in the next couple of days.

Polis met with the president in the White House earlier in the day to seek federal support for Colorado’s response to the coronavirus and to try to secure additional testing supplies and personal protective equipment.

“I need to pursue all possible options that can provide lifesaving supplies for the people of Colorado and make sure that our president is not just sequestered in the White House and really has the knowledge of what’s really going on in the states on the ground,” Polis said after the meeting.

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The Democratic governor said the supplies will help the state reach its goal of testing at least 8,500 people a day.

Meanwhile, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to deliver masks and personal protective equipment to nursing homes and senior centers across the state Monday. Another shipment is expected to arrive later in the month.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

Early in the pandemic, Polis criticized FEMA for swooping in to buy personal protective equipment and other supplies that Colorado, like many states, had been negotiating for with private vendors. He also expressed frustration at the free-for-all as states competed against each other to try to buy equipment, including ventilators and testing kits.

More recently, he has taken a more diplomatic approach to working with the Trump administration.

“The president and I have had our differences on different policies. This is not a time to air differences on unrelated policies. This is a time for all Americans to work together because we all have a common foe,” Polis said.

In other developments:

— Colorado health officials announced Wednesday the state has received its first shipment of the anti-viral drug remdesivir from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The state received enough doses to treat about 100 patients and started distributing the drug this week to eight hospital systems. Remdesivir appears to help patients with the coronavirus who have severe symptoms and are on ventilators.

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Associated Press writer James Anderson contributed to this report.

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