Griffo calls for changes to state’s COVID-19 equipment procurement policy

UTICA - New York State Deputy Minority Leader Joseph Griffo, R-I-C-Rome, today called for changes to the state’s procurement policy when it comes to obtaining ventilators and other needed equipment to aid the state’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Companies from all parts of the state have stepped up to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) but many legislators have received calls that there have been glitches and inconsistencies when companies have contacted the administration. In one case, an Albany-area nursing home has been looking to lend the Department of Health dozens of unused ventilators for more than two weeks but has not heard back from the state. In another case, a Frankfort company making PPE is facing challenges selling their items to hospitals in New York.

“New York residents, businesses and organization always step up in a time of need. However, we see and read news reports and hear from those we represent about difficulties people have experienced when it comes to providing the state with essential items during this public health crisis,” Deputy Minority Leader Griffo said. “At a time when the Governor has stressed the need for important equipment, this lack of communication is problematic. There should be a public process and disclosure for all proposals, approvals and rejections. If the administration simply lacks staff to review these applications, it should seek assistance to ensure these critical supplies are produced.”

Deputy Minority Leader Griffo also called on the Governor to utilize his position as vice chair of the National Governors Association to develop, initiate and execute additional strategies that can ensure residents throughout the country have access to the medical equipment and services they require. An interstate sharing strategy can help to serve all New York residents at once, and then reciprocate when states facing crisis later need help.

“We are thankful that other states such as Oregon, California and Washington have offered us ventilators to aid our fight against coronavirus in New York State,” Deputy Minority Leader Griffo said. “As vice chair of the National Governors Association, Gov. Cuomo has immense influence when it comes to approaches that all 50 states can take to work together and alleviate the damage caused by COVID-19. I hope that he will put this influence to work for the betterment of our state and our nation.”