New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has continually said the Trump administration could be doing more to fight the Wuhan coronavirus. In fact, just this weekend, he made an appearance on "Meet the Press" and hammered home that point, something Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) completely disagreed with.
While the Big Apple continues to be the United States' epicenter for the Wuhan coronavirus, de Blasio fails to take any responsibility for what's taking place in his city.
It turns out that New York City’s Office of Emergency Management attempted to order 200,000 N95 masks on February 7th but discovered weeks later that the vendor was out of stock. It took almost a month for the city to secure masks and hand sanitizer as part of its emergency supply, the New York Post reported. They received the supplies on March 6th and March 10th.
“Our city is the epicenter of this outbreak in the United States, and we are lacking supplies because the mayor didn’t notice until two weeks ago?” City Councilman Chaim Deutsch, also a Democrat, said. “We ought to have been prepared for this. Blaming Trump is an easy way to avoid hard questions, but it exposes a distinct lack of management on the part of this administration."
But here's the interesting part: the city's supplier said officials had 10 different opportunities to order these critical supplies but the reason they didn't get them was because of government bureaucracy. Eight of the 10 times the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) missed the payment deadline.
"We’d send them a list of products we can deliver within 24, 48 hours,” head of one of the medical supply companies told The Post. “The private sector is knocking on our door all day, every day. We have every hospital facility from Buffalo to across the country chasing us for the same product — N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, hand sanitizer — and the city just moves so slow, I mean it’s a joke."
Even though Comptroller Scott Stringer approved the purchases in early March, it took the DCAS roughly 72 hours to complete the order.
Stringer's office had approved 12 emergency contracts with a price tag of $150 million before de Blasio suspended the procurement rules on March 16th. At that point, his office took over the ordering process.
According to The Post, "the city has ordered 25 million masks, 2 million bottles of sanitizer, 12,000 thermometers and 2,000 ventilators" since the start of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.
De Blasio has said the Trump administration needs to send an additional 3 million N95 masks, 50 million additional surgical masks, 15,000 ventilators and 45 million personal protective equipment, like gowns, gloves and face shields. He said if the city doesn't receive these by April they will run out of vital supplies.