Delivering his daily coronavirus press briefing from his midtown office Sunday, Governor Cuomo announced that New York is joining forces with neighboring states to form a consortium for the purchase of critical personal protective equipment, or PPE.
“New York State alone buys about $2 billion of medical supplies this year. We are going to form a consortium with our seven northeast partner states to buy about $5 billion worth of equipment and supplies,” the Governor said.
Cuomo was joined virtually by Governors from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware for the announcement. Cuomo says by combining their purchasing power, the northeast and mid-Atlantic states should be able to purchase equipment more easily. A shortage of those supplies has been evident throughout the coronavirus outbreak.
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The Governor also announced that the state will mandate that every single hospital must have a stockpile of PPE.
He said a hard lesson was learned on hospitals, that there is no integrated or coordinated health system. It is mostly a system of privately run hospitals that are independent from one another.
“Part of what we have to learn is what happened with the equipment. I mean, this was just a situation that nobody anticipated. We’re going to put in a state requirement now that every hospital has to have a 90-day supply, a stockpile, their own stockpile of all the PPE equipment that they could need for a 90-day supply at the rate of usage that we saw with this COVID virus,” Cuomo said.
Citing CDC data, Cuomo said he believes the strain of the virus that struck New York was a more virulent one that actually came from Europe and not from China.
On the numbers, Cuomo says hospitalizations continue to trend downwards, but there were 280 deaths in the last 24 hours, which is still way too high a number to relax social distancing protocols. There have now been more than 19,000 deaths in New York State since the crisis began.
“Will you ever get 19 million people in the state to comply because you give them a summons? No,” Cuomo said. “They will comply because they know the facts. And because they choose and deem that it is intelligent and reasonable to comply.”