CT, Six Other States Plan To Join Forces, Purchase PPE Together

Brian McCready

CONNECTICUT — Everyone has heard the horror stories concerning the lack of readily available personal protective equipment and governors from seven states said Sunday they are teaming up to address the issue both now and in the future.

During New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's daily news conference it was announced that the governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Pennsylvania will form a regional consortium in an effort to have more success purchasing vital PPE. Gov. Ned Lamont made a cameo appearance during Cuomo's news conference Sunday.

Cuomo said he is mandating that all New York hospitals have a 90-day supply of PPE so this situation doesn't happen again. He said the governors need to plan as if there will be a second wave of the coronavirus or another pandemic at some point. He said no one can assume this is a "one time thing." "It's going to happen again," Cuomo said.

He said this recent outbreak had states bidding against one another and sometimes bidding against the federal government for PPE.

"It was totally inefficient," Cuomo said, while adding it took New England Patriot's owner Robert Kraft to send a personal jet to China to bring back much-needed masks, which he shared with New York.

He said New York spends $2 billion annually on medical supplies and the seven states combined spend $5 billion annually. He said by bidding together the states should have more power and influence in securing PPE and at a better price.

"This will give us purchasing power together," Cuomo said, while stressing most importantly this should help the states get the critical PPE it needs.

He also said instead of spending billions of dollars in China for medical supplies the goal will be to purchase supplies in the United States and hopefully identify suppliers in the seven Northeastern states.

Cuomo said he's been impressed by how all seven states have been so "neighborly" toward one another and offered to help in any way they could.

Lamont said, "With global supply chains continuing to experience a major disruption due to the pandemic, combining the efforts of our states into a regional purchasing initiative will help our states obtain needed PPE and other medical equipment without competing against each other. 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. Partnering with our neighbors helps make our purchasing power stronger and more dependable.”

Lamont said the states can continue to wait for the federal government or decide to "see what we can do ourselves." He said "we'll control more of our own destiny."

There have been 29,287 cases, 2,436 deaths and currently 1,551 hospitalizations in Connecticut. State officials plan to start the reopening phase process on May 20.

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See also: Town-By-Town Confirmed Coronavirus Cases in CT As 97 More Deaths Reported

This article originally appeared on the Across Connecticut Patch