The following was compiled from a news release issued by the office of Gov. Ned Lamont:
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, and Delaware Gov. John Carney announced on Sunday, May 3, 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 nonprofit 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.
Gov. Lamont said, “With global supply chains continuing to experience a major disruption due to the pandemic, combining the efforts of our states into a regional purchasing initiative will help our states obtain needed PPE and other medical equipment without competing against each other. I’ve long been advocating for the federal government to get involved because pitting all 50 states against each other to compete for these supplies has never made any sense. Partnering with our neighbors helps make our purchasing power stronger and more dependable.”
Gov. 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.”
Gov. Murphy said, “Our states should never be in a position where we are actively competing against each other for life-saving resources. By working together across the region, we can obtain critical supplies as we begin the process to restart our economies, while also saving money for our taxpayers. This concept is at the heart of the regional approach we’ve established.”
Gov. Baker said, “Massachusetts looks forward to working with other states to identify more options for PPE procurements for our health care workers and public safety personnel.”
Gov. Raimondo said, “Our healthcare workers should never have to worry if we have enough PPE to keep them safe. Over the past two months, we’ve been scouring the earth for supplies and have worked hard to meet the demand on the frontlines. We know that, in order to safely reopen the economy, we need a long-term supply of PPE for all critical infrastructure workers. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with states across the region in order to build and maintain a steady, reliable and affordable supply of PPE.”
Gov. Wolf said, “By working together we can combine our strengths to build the capacities we all need. We can exploit our market size to encourage producers to make what we need, we can exploit our financial strength to give that encouragement added weight, and we can exploit the great research institutions and the brainpower in our region to increase our chances of success. I look forward to working with my fellow governors—and my neighbors-to build a strong regional supply chain.”
Gov. Carney said, “We need a consistent approach for moving our states out of this crisis, and that includes ensuring a sufficient supply of PPE and tests. 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.”