Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. John Carney, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced a joint multi-state agreement to develop a regional supply chain for personal protective equipment, other medical equipment and testing.
While the states will continue to partner with the federal government during this global and national public health crisis, they will also work together to identify the entire region’s needs for these products, aggregate demand among the states, reduce costs and stabilize the supply chain. The states will also coordinate policies regarding the inventory of PPE each state’s health care infrastructure should have to be prepared for a possible second wave of COVID-19.
The states will also coordinate policies on what supplies local governments should have on hand for their first responders, and if any requirements regarding PPE for the non-for-profit and private sector are needed.
The states will then 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.
“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.”
Cuomo said, “The COVID-19 pandemic created a mad scramble for medical equipment across the entire nation - there was competition among states, private entities and the federal government and we were driving up the prices of these critical resources. As a state and as a nation we can’t go through that again. We’re going to form a regional state purchasing consortium with our seven northeast partner states to increase our market power when we're buying supplies and help us actually get the equipment at a better price. I want to thank our neighboring states for their ongoing support, generosity and regional coordination on these important efforts.”