NEW YORK — After working with neighboring states on coronavirus-related closing and reopening plans, Gov. Andrew 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.
WASHINGTON — Michigan’s governor says gun-carrying protesters who demonstrated inside her state’s Capitol “depicted some of the worst racism” and “awful parts” of U.S. history.
Democrat Gretchen Whitmer tells CNN that the protests featured “Confederate Flags, and nooses,” as well as swastikas.
Members of the Michigan Liberty Militia protested the state’s stay-at-home orders this week, some with weapons and tactical gear and their faces partially covered. They went inside the Capitol, where being armed is allowed, then demanded access to the House floor, which is prohibited.
Some went to the Senate gallery, where a senator said armed men shouted at her.
Michigan’s Republican-controlled Legislature has questioned Whitmer’s authority to extend stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic. But the governor used an executive order to extend a state of emergency declaration and has directed most businesses statewide to remain closed.
Mentioned as a possible running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Whitmer said Sunday, “This isn’t something we just negotiate ourselves out of and it’s a political matter.”
“This is a public health crisis,” she said.