Private coronavirus equipment suppliers will be paid 'premium' in New York, Gov. Cuomo says

‘We need those masks, those gowns, gloves and we need them now’

New York is offering to “pay a premium” to the private sector for personal protective equipment (PPE) including gloves, masks and gowns as the coronavirus continues to spread.

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On Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out the needs of the state -- including hospital beds, staff and PPE supplies -- as New York prepares to care for a growing number of COVID-19 patients.

“Supplies are a major issue,” he said. “I am now asking all product providers, all companies who are in this business -- we will pay a premium for these products.”

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However, the offer isn’t only for glove and mask manufacturers, he said. Other companies that can pivot their production from making other items to making PPE items can ask New York for funding.

“If you are a business that doesn’t manufacture these exact items, but if you have equipment and personnel and you believe that you could manufacture these items … we will give you funding to do it,” Cuomo said. “And we will give you funding to get the right equipment, to get the personnel, etc. I’m asking businesses to be creative.”

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“I can’t mandate that businesses make something,” he added. “But I can offer financial incentives and that’s what we’re doing.”

He said the state is also looking into having state uniform-manufacturing facilities temporarily make masks, gloves and gowns.

In the briefing, Cuomo said businesses who are interested in being funded to make masks and gloves should contact the Empire State Development office, and businesses who want to sell PPE equipment should contact the Executive Chamber’s Product Sales office.

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“We need those masks, those gowns, gloves and we need them now,” he said.

After the press briefing, fashion designer Christian Siriano tweeted that his employees would start making masks.

“If @NYGovCuomo says we need masks my team will help make some,” he wrote. “I have a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help.”

President Trump also said that he had invoked the Defense Production Act, which means the private sector would ramp up the manufacturing of emergency supplies.

“We have millions of masks which are coming and which will be distributed to the states,”  Trump said in a press briefing on Friday. “The states are having a hard time getting them, so we’re using the act.”

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