Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, and Delaware Governor John Carney today announced a joint multi-state agreement to develop a regional supply chain for personal protective equipment, other medical equipment and testing.
Governor 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.”
According to a press release issued from the Governor Ned Lamont’s office, 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.
According to the release, 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.