NY, NJ, CT and other Northeast states band together to jointly acquire PPE, other supplies

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The governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and other Northeastern states on Sunday unveiled a "regional state purchasing consortium" to jointly procure supplies as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On a joint news conference Sunday afternoon, Govs. Andrew Cuomo, Phil Murphy, Ned Lamont and others said they would work together to procure PPE, COVID-19 tests, ventilators and other items.
The consortium includes New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware and Pennsylvania. The governors say the aim is to increase market power and bring down prices.
In the news conference, Cuomo said states bidding against each other for supplies drove up prices through competition. He said believes the issues posed by acquiring medical supplies constitutes a national security concern, noting in particular that the U.S. had to turn to China to acquire supplies to save American lives.
The Northeast states have previously announced they're working together on reopening and easing restrictions 
BRIEFING NOTES: 

-Gov. Cuomo gave an update on health indicators, including hospitalizations and fatalities. Hospitalizations continue to go down, and are under 10,000. Intubations are also down. 
-The number of new cases in New York is 789, and "that's good news," says Cuomo. 
-280 lives were lost in the past 24 hours. Cuomo says it's "incredibly distressing" but the "overall direction is good, even though it's very painful."
 
-Cuomo says it's important that we are learning from the measures we are implementing in this unprecedented crisis.
-The governor discussed a CDC report released May 1 on the coronavirus outbreak, including how the timing of travel alerts issued earlier this year let the virus spread. An outbreak in one places quickly becomes an outbreak everywhere, Cuomo says. A travel ban on China did not slow the spread of cases coming to the East Coast from Italy and elsewhere in Europe.
-Another lesson to learn is the implications on the health care system, Cuomo says. Equipment shortages, limitations of public health systems, and other issues must be addressed. 
-Cuomo says the state Dept. of Health will require hospitals to build a 90-day supply of PPE to be ready in the event of another surge in cases.
-Another issue is the problems encountered as states and entities competed in acquiring PPE equipment. He says it drove up prices and contributed to the crisis.
-Cuomo announced a "regional state purchasing consortium" that covers seven states to purchase standard items together, including masks, gowns, and other items. The consortium includes New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware and Pennsylvania. The aim is to increase market power and bring down prices.
 
-Cuomo was joined virtually by several of the governors to speak about the consortium. 
 
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