This is our daily update of breaking COVID-19 news for Tuesday, April 14th, 2020. Previous daily updates can be found here, and up-to-date statistics are here.

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12:30 p.m. Remarking on President's Trump tweets on Tuesday that states were staging a mutiny, Governor Andrew Cuomo indicated that he would not be prodded into a partisan battle with the White House over the state's management of the coronavirus crisis.

"The president is clearly spoiling for a fight on this issue," Cuomo said, during his daily press briefing.

He reflected on a 1939 poem by Carl Sandburg that he came across as a young Catholic school student in Queens.

"Sometimes it's better to walk away from a fight than to engage it," he said, before adding, "The president will have no fight from me. I will not engage in it."

The governor's conciliatory comments represented a shift from his tone earlier this morning when he made four back-to-back television appearances in which he criticized the president for claiming total authority over states in their decision of when to reopen. At one point, he derided Trump's press briefings as "a comedy skit."

Cuomo's words appeared to provoke Trump who immediately fired off two tweets directed at him and other governors who have formed partnerships to coordinate their policies to reopen their economies.

"This is no time for politics," Cuomo said. "I put my hand out in total partnership and cooperation with the president."

Earlier, Cuomo had threatened to sue the federal government. While he backed away from his combative tone, he said he was still prepared to go to court should the president order the state to do something "reckless."

The governor has generally been viewed as strategic in managing his relationship with Trump. Even as the state looks to ramp up testing to 2,000 tests a day next week, it will need federal assistance to mount the type of widespread and rapid testing needed to control the spread of the virus. Cuomo has repeatedly urged the White House to provide more stimulus aid and nationalize the rollout of testing.

On Tuesday, the governor announced more signs of infections flattening in New York. The number of new COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide continued to fall to around 1,600, the lowest figure in more than two weeks.

The number of total hospitalizations have plateaued at more than 18,000.

But in another grim reminder of the toll the virus has taken, New York recorded another 778 deaths, up from 671 the day before.

Still, Cuomo said that the fatalities, which have mostly hovered in the 700s over the last week, are also showing signs of leveling off.

As of Tuesday, there are 10,834 confirmed coronavirus deaths statewide.

NYC Will Attempt To Produce 400,000 Tests Kits A Month

11 a.m. Beginning in May, New York City will deploy local manufacturers to produce COVID-19 testing kits, with hopes of producing 400,000 tests a month, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The effort, spearheaded by the city's Economic Development Corporation, would allow the city to gain a foothold toward implementing widespread testing, which experts have said would be necessary to reopen the economy.

"If we can do it here, then why can’t it be done all over the country," de Blasio said on Tuesday during his daily press briefing. "If the federal government can't figure it out then get out of the way and let us do it at the local level."

However, he added that the city would still need federal support in procuring the components for testing. On Saturday, the city's Department of Health alerted health providers about a "serious shortage" of the nasal swabs used take samples from patients being tested for coronavirus.

The mayor said that the city has been scrambling to acquire tests from the state and federal government as well as buying them on the open market. Aria Diagnostics, a company based in Indiana, is expected to donate 50,000 test kits to New York City. Starting next Monday, the city will buy 50,000 test kits every week from the company.

De Blasio did not identify the companies or universities which would be contracted to produce the tests, saying the city was still in conversations with them.

Marking a new industry in New York City, local manufacturers are currently producing hundreds of thousands of personal protective equipment items like face shields and gowns that are needed for healthcare workers. A team of eight companies across Brooklyn and Manhattan will reach 460,000 face shields by next Friday, de Blasio said.

The mayor said buying such medical supplies was still a challenge for the city.

For the second day in a row, de Blasio also announced the three benchmarks the city is gauging as part of its recovery plan. He has said that the number of new hospitalizations due to suspected COVID-19 cases, intensive care unit admissions and the percentage of positive tests must all come down for 10 days to two weeks for the city to consider relaxing restrictions.

New hospitalizations for suspected coronavirus cases fell slightly on Sunday to 326 from 383, while those in intensive care units increased to 850 from 835. Overall, the percentage of people testing positive for the virus also went up.

According to the latest city data, New York City has 106,813 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Looking south in Riverside Park, at the skyline on the left and Hudson River on the right, with a dramatic clouded sky

In Riverside Park

In Riverside Park
Jen Chung / Gothamist

Defying Trump, Cuomo Says States Will Decide When To Reopen

Following President's tirade over states on the East and West coast forming coalitions to coordinate their coronavirus recovery plans, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday pushed back against the assertion that President Donald Trump has "total" authority over when the country's economy would restart.

"We don’t have a king, we have a president," Cuomo said, speaking on CBS, one of four television appearances this morning in which the governor threatened the president with a constitutional challenge if he were to interfere with New York's management of the crisis.

Cuomo pointed out that Trump's latest position was a "total 180" from his prior stance, which had been to let states deal with the outbreaks and closures on their own.

"It makes no sense. It’s schizophrenic," he said on CNN.

The Democratic governor's barrage of media appearances is likely to further enrage Trump, who is said to regularly watch Cuomo's press briefings.

The two political rivals had seemingly reached a détente in recent weeks, with Cuomo thanking the president for helping the state procure supplies and personnel and avoiding any direct criticism.

But all of that came undone on Monday, after the governors of seven states on the East Coast and three on the West Coast formed an alliance to coordinate their efforts on reopening their economies. Cuomo, who has become a national star amid the coronavirus crisis, on Monday afternoon held a press conference in which he announced the East Coast partnership, made up of Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Later in the day, Massachusetts, the lone state in the group headed by a Republican governor, also signed on, enabling Cuomo to characterize the coalition as bipartisan.

The West Coast coalition is led by the Democratic governors of California, Oregon and Washington.

The moves enraged Trump, who during a lengthy White House press conference on Monday evening, insisted that he "calls the shots,” adding, “They can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States.”

The president has created his own committee to reopen the country, tapping insiders like Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other cabinet secretaries. Initial reports said that he had included his daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, but they have since been ruled out, according to the New York Times.

Constitutional experts have said that the president does not have the right to order states to allow businesses to reopen if the governors believed it would threaten the public health of their constituents.

"I wouldn’t do it," Cuomo said on CNN, adding that he was prepared to take the federal government to court if necessary.

Trump's clash with state governance aside, other vexing questions about the recovery remain. Cuomo and other governors have talked about a phased reopening that would require widespread rapid testing which has yet to be developed. While the spread of the virus has showed signs of flattening in New York, other states like New Jersey and Connecticut have yet to hit the peak, according to projections. There are also concerns about a possible resurgence of the virus, similar to what Hong Kong and South Korea have experienced.

The governor has repeatedly refused to provide any timeline or specific plan for the economy reopening.

"I don't know the dates," he said again on Monday. "I know we start and then we see how it goes."