Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the region’s governors announced a consortium that will purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), with an emphasis on buying from companies in the U.S. and the region.
Carney said that tapping into the purchasing power of the region is “incredibly important. He added that Delaware would be out of luck if the state was competing against New York.
Cuomo said PPE purchases will be needed, even as the current pandemic lessens, pointing to signs of a probable second wave as well as the need for health care facilities to stockpile items such as hoods and protective gowns.
Cuomo was joined by Carney, Gov. Phil Murphy, New Jersey; Gov. Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania, and Gov. Ned Lamont, Connecticut. Also, a part of the coalition are Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is the sole Republican governor in the coalition.
The states will seek to identify suppliers within the country, region or state who can scale to meet the demand of the entire region over the next three months. The goal of this approach is to decrease the potential for disruptions in the supply chain for PPE and medical equipment, including sanitizer and ventilators, and testing, and promote regional economic development.
In addition, the states are discussing how to collectively explore emerging technologies on an ongoing basis to take advantage of the potential associated with alternative methods of production for existing products and innovation that would lead to more effective and/or less expensive alternatives. For example, 3D Printers may represent an attractive alternative to manufacturing certain personal protective equipment and medical products.
Delaware has seen growth in manufacturing PPE through small scale projects and stepped up production at ILC Dover.
“We need a consistent approach for moving our states out of this crisis, and that includes ensuring a sufficient supply of PPE and tests,” said Carney. “I’m thankful for this coordination with my fellow governors in the region. We’ll be better positioned to continue tackling this crisis working together with the states around us.”
The governors have been working together on coordinating the process of reopening businesses.
Carney is also working with Gov. Larry Hogan, R-Maryland, on business and beach reopenings.
At the press conference, Cuomo first offered statistics related to New York state, which has seen a sharp decline in the rate of daily deaths from COVID-19, but is still reporting more than 200 daily deaths.
He also pointed to increasing evidence that a new and perhaps more virulent strain of COVID-19 came from Europe. The region and nation were caught unaware of the situation since the focus was on China.
Carney acknowledged at the press conference that it will be far more difficult to reopen the state than to institute the controversial emergency orders. Cuomo agreed as New Yorkers. Carney’s emergency order was the subject of protests in Wilmington and Dover.