Coronavirus News: Northeast states join in PPE purchasing partnership

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York has formed a partnership with six other northeast states, including New Jersey and Connecticut, to purchase personal protective equipment, tests, ventilators and other medical equipment, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday.

The Governor said the agreement between New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, will increase the state's market power.

"We're going to form a consortium with our seven northeast partner states, which buy about $5 billion worth of equipment and supplies," Cuomo said. "Which will make us more competitive in the international marketplace."

Our states should never be in a position where we are actively competing against each other for life-saving resources," New Jersey Governor Murphy said.

Cuomo said he believes the partnership will save taxpayers money.

"We just drove up prices by our own competition. There was a limited supply it was primarily in China and then you have 50 states and all of these private entities and the federal government trying to buy from China. It just, it made no sense," Cuomo said.

Additionally, the Governor said the increased buying power will help ensure the state will not experience the same supply shortages.

"I also believe it will help us actually get the equipment, because we have trouble still getting the equipment and just buying the equipment," Cuomo said. "These vendors on the other side, they're dealing with countries, they're dealing with the federal government. Why should they do business with one state when they can do business with an entire country."

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont added the partnership will make their purchasing power stronger and more dependable.

"I've long been advocating for the federal government to get involved because pitting all 50 states against each other to compete for these supplies has never made any sense," he said.

Governor Cuomo said another lesson the state learned in the response to COVID-19 is how difficult it is to respond to a health crisis when nearly all of the state's hospitals are privately run.

In response, he announced that New York State will require all hospitals to have on hand a 90-day supply of PPE.

"We can't go through this day-to-day moving masks all across the state, this mad scramble that we were in and still are in, in many ways," Cuomo said.


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