New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a news conference to provide an update on how his state is addressing the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Watch the governor’s remarks in the video player above.
On Sunday, Cuomo announced that New York is banding together with six nearby states to purchase equipment and supplies that sometimes have been hard to come by during the pandemic.
After working with neighboring states on coronavirus-related closing and reopening plans, 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.
The other states in the consortium are Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. One goal is to find suppliers within the region, instead of relying on swamped manufacturers in China and other faraway places.
Fewer than 10,000 people in the state were hospitalized Saturday with coronavirus in New York, the lowest tally since the third week of March, Cuomo said.
Hospitalizations peaked at 18,825 on April 12 and fell to almost half that – 9,786 – on Saturday.
More than 19,100 people in the state have died from coronavirus, though the total doesn’t include more than 5,300 deaths in the city that were attributed to the virus on death certificates but weren’t confirmed by a lab test.
On Saturday, 280 people died from the disease, the lowest daily total since March 29, when there were 253 fatalities. The state peaked with 799 deaths in one day on April 9.
“The overall direction is good, even though it is very painful,” Cuomo said.
The coronavirus causes only mild symptoms in many, but it can cause serious illness or death for some, particularly older adults and those with certain health conditions.
The U.S. ranks first in the world in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus.