Gov. Andrew Cuomo takes 'fast and easy' coronavirus test live on TV

Cuomo said he wanted to take the test to show people "how fast and easy" it is to get swabbed for COVID-19.
New York Governor Cuomo Holds Coronavirus Briefing
Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, receives a nasal swab Covid-19 test during a news conference in the Red Room of the New York State Capitol Building in Albany, New York, U.S., on Sunday, May 17, 2020.Bloomberg / Bloomberg via Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

As New York continues to expand COVID-19 testing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo took a coronavirus test on live television on Sunday to show people just how "fast and easy" it is to get tested.

"I am going to show you how fast and easy it is to take a test and demonstrate why there should be no reluctance," Cuomo said.

As more Americans get tested, some are discovering the test involves a deep nasal swab that can be uncomfortable. Called a nasopharyngeal swab or culture, it allows doctors to collect a sample of secretions from the uppermost part of the throat, behind the nose.

A health care worker will gently insert what looks like a long Q-tip as far as it’ll go into a person’s nose, twirl the swab to get a good sample, then remove it and place it in a vial, which is then sent to a lab for testing.

But Cuomo's COVID-19 testing demonstration was meant to deter some of that uneasiness.

The governor, who is known for his Power Point slides with humorous and encouraging messages, took the test in front of a message that said, "...even a governor can do it."

"Nice to see you doctor," he said as he stood up to take a test. The governor asked the doctor why she told him to close his eyes before taking a swab.

"For comfort. It might make you tear a little bit," she said.

After a quick swab up one of his nostrils, the test was complete.

"That's it?" Nothing else?" Cuomo asked.

The entire test took just a few seconds. Cuomo sat back down in front of his microphone where he talked about the experience.

"That is the whole test. I'm not in pain. I'm not in discomfort. Closing my eyes was a moment of relaxation," he said. "There is no reason why you should not get the test and you don't even have to be New York tough to take that test."