Filed Under: U.S.

New York spent millions on unused COVID-19 supplies during pandemic

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President Biden said the COVID-19 pandemic is over, but the financial toll is still being tabulated. Early in the pandemic, states were forced into competition with each other as the demand for personal protective equipment and hospital equipment skyrocketed.

In New York, the state stockpiled more than 8,500 ventilators and almost 1,200 X-ray machines for a total cost north of $250 million. Politico is reporting, however, all that stockpiled equipment was never used. Instead of selling off the quarter of a billion dollars in unused items though, New York has a $40 million contract with the National Guard to keep tabs on the goods so they’re ready for the next pandemic.

Not everything New York produced or procured during the pandemic has a long shelf-life, though.

In Utica, 700,000 gallons of expired hand sanitizer is sitting on an airport tarmac waiting to be recycled. Prisoners produced the hand sanitizer in 2020 when stores were selling out of it. Now, taxpayers are on the hook for another $2.3 million to transport the unused product to Rochester. The state said Kodak will recycle 168 trailer loads of materials including the hand sanitizer, the packing materials used to transport it and the tarps covering it.

Some local media outlets spoke to people who were upset the hand sanitizer was allowed to expire instead of being sent someplace where it could have been used.

New York’s Office of General Services defended the state’s spending. In a statement to WHAM, the office said “Throughout the pandemic New York State took decisive actions to protect New Yorkers and to ensure that our state and local governments could effectively respond to the global pandemic. To respond to an emergency such as COVID-19, the state sourced and supplied more products than were needed.”

PRESIDENT BIDEN SAYS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IS OVER, BUT THE FINANCIAL TOLL IS STILL BEING TABULATED.

EARLY ON IN THE PANDEMIC, STATES WERE FORCED IN TO COMPETITION WITH EACH OTHER AS THE DEMAND FOR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT AND HOSPITAL EQUIPMENT SKYROCKETED.

IN NEW YORK, THE STATE STOCKPILED MORE THAN 8,500 VENTILATORS AND ALMOST 1,200 X-RAY MACHINES FOR A TOTAL COST NORTH OF $250 MILLION.

BUT ALL THAT STOCKPILED EQUIPMENT WAS NEVER USED.

INSTEAD OF SELLING OFF THE QUARTER OF A BILLION DOLLARS IN UNUSED ITEMS THOUGH, NEW YORK HAS A $40 MILLION CONTRACT WITH THE NATIONAL GUARD TO KEEP TABS ON THE GOODS SO THEY’RE READY FOR THE NEXT PANDEMIC.

NOT EVERYTHING NEW YORK PRODUCED OR PROCURED DURING THE PANDEMIC HAS A LONG SHELF-LIFE, THOUGH.

IN UTICA, 700,000 GALLONS OF EXPIRED HAND SANITIZER IS SITTING ON AN AIRPORT TARMAC WAITING TO BE RECYCLED.

PRISONERS PRODUCED THE HAND SANITIZER IN 2020 WHEN STORES WERE SELLING OUT OF IT.

NOW, TAXPAYERS ARE ON THE HOOK FOR ANOTHER $2.3 MILLION TO TRANSPORT THE UNUSED PRODUCT TO ROCHESTER. THE STATE SAYS KODAK WILL RECYCLE 168 TRAILER LOADS OF MATERIALS INCLUDING THE HAND SANITIZER, THE PACKING MATERIALS USED TO TRANSPORT IT, AND THE TARPS COVERING IT.

SOME LOCAL MEDIA OUTLETS SPOKE TO PEOPLE WHO WERE UPSET THE HAND SANITIZER WAS ALLOWED TO EXPIRE INSTEAD OF BEING SENT SOMEPLACE WHERE IT COULD HAVE BEEN USED.

NEW YORK’S OFFICE OF GENERAL SERVICES DEFENDS THE STATES SPENDING, SAYING NEW YORK TOOK DECISIVE ACTIONS TO PROTECT NEW YORKERS.

IT’S WHAT YOU MIGHT CALL THE “BOYSCOUT DEFENSE”—WHERE IT’S BETTER TO HAVE SOMETHING AND NOT NEED IT, THAN NEED SOMETHING AND NOT HAVE IT.

President Biden said the COVID-19 pandemic is over, but the financial toll is still being tabulated. Early in the pandemic, states were forced into competition with each other as the demand for personal protective equipment and hospital equipment skyrocketed.

In New York, the state stockpiled more than 8,500 ventilators and almost 1,200 X-ray machines for a total cost north of $250 million. Politico is reporting, however, all that stockpiled equipment was never used. Instead of selling off the quarter of a billion dollars in unused items though, New York has a $40 million contract with the National Guard to keep tabs on the goods so they’re ready for the next pandemic.

Not everything New York produced or procured during the pandemic has a long shelf-life, though.

In Utica, 700,000 gallons of expired hand sanitizer is sitting on an airport tarmac waiting to be recycled. Prisoners produced the hand sanitizer in 2020 when stores were selling out of it. Now, taxpayers are on the hook for another $2.3 million to transport the unused product to Rochester. The state said Kodak will recycle 168 trailer loads of materials including the hand sanitizer, the packing materials used to transport it and the tarps covering it.

Some local media outlets spoke to people who were upset the hand sanitizer was allowed to expire instead of being sent someplace where it could have been used.

New York’s Office of General Services defended the state’s spending. In a statement to WHAM, the office said “Throughout the pandemic New York State took decisive actions to protect New Yorkers and to ensure that our state and local governments could effectively respond to the global pandemic. To respond to an emergency such as COVID-19, the state sourced and supplied more products than were needed.”

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