NYC to create its own stockpile of medical supplies: ‘It’s sobering as all hell’
New York City will create its own stockpile of medical supplies after Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said Tuesday that the city “can’t depend on the federal government.”
De Blasio announced the development of the local stockpile at his Tuesday press conference, saying it will include surgical gowns, test kits and ventilators. The city will still purchase necessary medical supplies from outside vendors.
“It is a very sobering, telling moment when I have to sit here before you and say that New York City needs its own strategic reserve because we can’t depend on the federal government at this point,” he said. “It’s sobering as all hell. I mean it’s just not something I’m happy to tell you, but it is really, really clear.”
The city that has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic will use its Economic Development Corp. to organize with health care leaders to create the stockpile.
“We New Yorkers will take care of ourselves,” he added. “We have learned the hard way that we cannot depend on the federal government in the future. … We certainly cannot depend on the global market.”
De Blasio praised the New York-based companies Boyce Technologies, 10XBeta and New Lab for developing the new “bridge” ventilator, designed for patients with less severe respiratory problems to free up other machines for patients in critical conditions.
The city paid $10 million for 3,000 of the bridge ventilators, the mayor said. He said other New York City businesses have begun manufacturing personal protective equipment for health professionals.
States and cities across the country have struggled to obtain enough supplies to treat the number of coronavirus patients coming into hospitals. President Trump and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) have pointed to the U.S.’s dependence on international production as reasoning for the delays.
The city has confirmed 134,874 cases of coronavirus, with 35,746 hospitalizations and 9,562 confirmed deaths. Another 4,865 deaths are considered probable, according to the city’s data.