NEW YORK CITY -- New York City is planning to stockpile medical equipment and supplies to meet its own needs in any potential future coronavirus surge, rather than looking to federal authorities or global markets, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.
He said the new "strategic reserve" would include ventilators, face shields, surgical gowns and test kits, and the initiative also includes developing local suppliers who could quickly make more if needed.
In one example, the city is spending $10 million to buy 3,000 "bridge" ventilators -- suitable for patients who don't have the severest respiratory symptoms -- from Queens-based Boyce Technologies Inc. It has started making the devices only in recent weeks.
"We have learned the hard way that we cannot depend on the federal government in the future," nor in the global marketplace, de Blasio, a Democrat, said at a news briefing. "We New Yorkers will take care of ourselves."