Cuomo calls on federal government to order companies to manufacture medical supplies
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is calling on the federal government to order companies to manufacture medical supplies under the Defense Production Act, which President Trump initiated last week.
Cuomo said during his daily press conference on Sunday that the federal government “should nationalize medical supply acquisition” instead of leaving it to the states. He encouraged Trump to order the production of masks, gowns and ventilators, among other medical supplies.
“The states simply cannot manage it,” he said. “States all across the country can’t handle it. Certainly, the states that are dealing with the highest case load can’t handle it.”
“And that’s why I believe the federal government should take over that function of contracting and acquiring all of the medical supplies that we need,” he added.
WATCH: “The federal government should nationalize medical supply acquisition,” says NY Gov. Cuomo. “We are competing against other states. … Price gouging is a tremendous problem and it’s only getting worse. There are masks that we were paying $.85 for, we’re now paying $7.” pic.twitter.com/AZcQX18hqJ
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 22, 2020
I’m calling on the Federal Government to nationalize the medical supply chain.
The Federal Government should immediately use the Defense Production Act to order companies to make gowns, masks and gloves.
Currently, states are competing against other states for supplies.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 22, 2020
The governor also criticized the state’s congressional delegation, saying New York received no funding from the first federal bill to fight the coronavirus.
“This is no time to play politics, and we need our congressional delegates to stand up and fight for New York,” he said.
Cuomo also called on the Army Corps of Engineers to “immediately” start building temporary hospitals in four locations with 250 beds each. All hospitals in the state are required to increase capacity by at least 50 percent, but the state government is requesting all hospitals to strive for an 100 percent increase, he noted.
“If none of that happens, then we’re on our own. We’re New Yorkers. We’ll figure it out,” Cuomo said.
The governor also announced that the state will start trials of drugs to treat the virus on Tuesday.
And Cuomo emphasized the importance of social distancing, calling those who congregate at parks and other public places “insensitive,” “arrogant,” “self-destructive” and “disrespectful to other people.”
“It has to stop, and it has to stop now,” he said. “This is not a joke, and I am not kidding.”
New York has become an epicenter for the outbreak, with 10,356 confirmed cases and 76 deaths.
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