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'Stronger Together,' Northeast States Create Medical Purchasing Consortium

Frank Franklin II
Linda Silva, a nurse's assistant, poses for a portrait in Queens, N.Y.. Silva, who tested positive for COVID-19, returned to work after recovering.

The governors of seven Northeast and mid-Atlantic states say they’ll form a regional consortium to buy medical supplies and other equipment to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says states will work together to buy masks, gowns, ventilators and other protective equipment. He said the arrangement grew out of equipment-sharing between the seven states during the crisis.

“Really the way you would deal with a neighbor in an extraordinary circumstance, right? You’d knock on the door and say can I borrow this? That’s how these states responded.”

Cuomo says competition between states and the federal government led to higher prices. He says the consortium will increase market power and bring down prices.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont says the consortium could help the states control their own destiny in a potential next round of the pandemic.

“We’ve learned something, right? We can wait for the national stockpile, we can wait for that plane to land from China. Let’s see what we can do ourselves. We’re much stronger together.”

Lamont says the arrangement will also allow states to buy products made by their neighbors, like pharmaceuticals made in New Jersey.

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