Cuomo: You Can’t Depend on China For PPE
The New York governor said that New York hospitals must prepare their own stockpiles of personal protective equipment.
- By Ralph C. Jensen
- May 05, 2020
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has mandated that New York hospitals must now build a 90-day supply of personal protective equipment, saying shortages of equipment create a national security issue. The governor said efforts to get masks from China have been “ineffective and inefficient.”
“You can’t be dependent on China to have the basic equipment to save lives in the United States. That’s a national security issue to me,” the governor said.
On Sunday, Cuomo said efforts to procure masks from China amid state competition for medical supplies were “inefficient and ineffective” and warned against dependence on China for basic equipment.
“That we have to go to China for the PPE? I mean think about that — you couldn’t even get it in this nation. That’s a national security issue to me. You have to be able to get masks and gowns and whatever medical equipment you need so this nation can run a health-care system in the middle of an emergency.
“You can’t be dependent on China to have the basic equipment to save lives in the United States, that’s what this came down to,” the governor said.
Cuomo expressed frustration that the states of Massachusetts and New York had to rely on New England Patriots owner and billionaire businessman Robert Kraft to send a private plane to China to help procure masks.
“That’s how we handle a global pandemic? I have to call Mr. Kraft and say can you do me a favor Gov. Baker, as long as the plane is going can you pick up masks for me?” Cuomo asked.
New York is a launching a regional buying consortium with six Northeast states to procure PPE, tests, ventilators and other medical equipment to reduce competition among states and lower prices.
“We put together a de facto public health system,” Cuomo said. “We can’t go through this day to day in this mad scramble to move masks to where they were needed.”
High competition among states, private entities and the federal government have hindered efforts to fight the virus and drove up prices of vital healthcare equipment, the governor said.
The governors of New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware joined Cuomo’s press conference to discuss how joining equipment orders will help drive down overall equipment prices. More than 280 more people have died from the virus in New York, that following a decline after a slight increase.
Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.