New York’s gov offers Atlanta coronavirus help: ‘Whatever you need.’

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is locked in an escalating rift with Gov. Brian Kemp over coronavirus restrictions and her approach to policing. But she's getting backup from another high-profile governor.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he would send a team of experts trained at Johns Hopkins University to help Atlanta conduct testing and contact tracing of people exposed to the coronavirus.

“You have an open offer. Whatever you need,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing, adding that “we are also 100% behind you.”

The mayor, who like Cuomo is a Democrat, has been in an increasingly testy battle with Kemp over issues of public safety and health. She appeared at Cuomo’s daily briefing and criticized Kemp, a Republican, for refusing to require the use of masks.

It's not immediately clear if Bottoms will take Cuomo up on his offer, though her aides indicated she was likely to accept some help from New York.

Never close personal friends, the working relationship between Bottoms and Kemp has unraveled over the last week.

<<More: Behind the rift between Keisha Lance Bottoms and Brian Kemp

The two have clashed over Kemp’s decision to deploy the Georgia National Guard to three sites in Atlanta, Bottoms’ signing of a mask mandate over the governor’s objections and her announcement of new economic limits in the city to contain the disease.

And top Georgia Republicans have blamed Bottoms, a potential running-mate to Joe Biden, for not more aggressively responding to a spate of violence earlier this month that resulted in the shooting of an 8-year-old girl and the ransacking of the state Department of Public Safety.

The number of coronavirus cases in Georgia has soared over the last month, and the state has set several recent daily records of new cases. The hospitalization rate has also sharply increased, and roughly 80% of the state’s hospital beds are filled.

<<More: Pandemic, protests keep Atlanta's mayor in national spotlight

New York, once the national epicenter of the outbreak, logged the lowest number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations on Monday since mid-March and the number of daily cases in the state has steadily declined.

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