New York and New Jersey have teamed up with five neighboring states to bulk purchase personal protective equipment and other medical supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic , Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.
The governors of New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts will work with Cuomo to procure $5 billion in PPE, tests, ventilators and other medical equipment.
“I believe this will help us get the equipment and get it at a better price,” Cuomo said. “States are stronger when we work together.”
The consortium will focus on buying products from companies based in the United States, with a priority on Northeast businesses. It will also work to identify and avoid irresponsible vendors.
Cuomo has long been critical of the federal government’s unwillingness to help states with purchasing medical equipment hospitals need to combat COVID-19.
The governor has argued that leaving states to compete against each other, as well as against other countries, for equipment created a supply-and-demand issue that led to price-gouging and the inability to sufficiently stockpile for the worst of the outbreak.
As of Sunday, New York was reporting
over 19,000 deaths
related to the virus outbreak.