(NEW YORK) — New York is banding together with six nearby states to purchase equipment and supplies that sometimes have been hard to come by during the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday.
After working with neighboring states on coronavirus-related closing and reopening plans, Cuomo said Sunday that New York will join with states from Massachusetts to Delaware to create a regional supply chain for masks, gowns, ventilators, testing supplies and other equipment vital to fighting the disease.
The states are joining together after months of dealing separately with what Cuomo said was a “totally inefficient and ineffective” purchasing process that pitted all 50 states against each other, as well as the federal government and other entities, driving up prices as supplies dried up.
New York buys about $2 billion worth of medical equipment supplies per year, Cuomo said. The other states joining the consortium together spend about $5 billion per year. Working together, they’ll have stronger purchasing power and improve their clout with global suppliers, Cuomo said.
“It will make us more competitive in the international marketplace and I believe it will save taxpayers money,” Cuomo said. “I also believe it will actually help us get the equipment, because we have trouble still getting the equipment.”
The other states in the consortium are Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. One goal, the states’ governors said, is to find suppliers within the region, instead of relying on swamped manufacturers in China and other faraway places.
On a parallel track, they’ll also continue to work with the federal government to procure medical gear, Cuomo said.
“Whatever they can do to help is great,” Cuomo said.