New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not only been warning about the critical shortage of ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) his state is facing during the coronavirus pandemic — he is also complaining about the companies that are forcing states to compete with each other over who can pay the most. And similarly, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is complaining that it has been “very hard” for his state to obtain medical equipment when it has to compete with the federal government.
At a press conference on Saturday, April 4, Beshear told reporters, “Our biggest problem is that just about every single order that we have out there for PPE, we get a call right when it’s supposed to be shipped — and it’s typically the federal government has bought it. It’s very hard to buy things when the federal government is there, and any time they want to buy it, they get it first.”
Beshear also told reporters, “Trying to buy PPE — that’s a challenge. We are trying to manufacture it. If you can help with any of these, we want you to be a part and call us.”
In late March, Beshear voiced similar complaints, asserting that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) “came out and bought it all out from under us.”
The Democratic Kentucky governor explained, “It is a challenge that the federal government says, ‘States, you need to go and find your supply chain’ — and then, the federal government ends up buying from that supply chain. I’m going to do what it takes. We’re running down every lead, every buyer, from every direction to make sure that we can get what we need.”