New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo officially assumed leadership of the National Governors Association on Wednesday during a meeting held virtually because of the pandemic.
Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association is the voice of the leaders of 55 states, territories, and commonwealths of the United States of America.
“Frankly, my friends, I don’t think we have that many options this year,” Cuomo said during his remarks. Cuomo said his priorities shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Cuomo said the NGA will focus on sharing survival and recovery tactics among its members, as well as creating systems to increase testing capacity, contract tracing, supply chains for medical equipment, emergency stockpiles and surge capacity in the months to come. The governors will continue to press the federal government for the authorization and funds to accomplish those goals, including the $500 billion the group has collectively requested in direct aid, he said, and will reimagine the infrastructure necessary to rebuild.
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland passed the mantle of leadership to Cuomo, who had been vice chair. The position has gained greater significance and visibility this year as governors shoulder primary responsibility for the pandemic response and recovery efforts.
The incoming vice chair is Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas. Cuomo’s term will last a year.