NEW YORK, NY – New York mayor Bill de Blasio is quick to blame the Trump administration for pretty much everything. However, the fact that the city didn’t secure its first order of emergency protective gear and supplies until March 6 is squarely on him.
Law Enforcement Today has learned from sources that de Blasio, who has been trying to deflect blame for the city’s apparent lack of preparation for the coronavirus in fact was asleep at the switch as the virus swept across China and then into Europe and finally the United States.
On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” de Blasio said that the White House needed to step up and provide the city with huge shipments of medical supplies by April, including surgical masks and respirators. He has also asked for the military to assist the city.
“He’s not acting like a commander-in-chief because he doesn’t know how,” the communist sympathizing mayor said. “He should get the hell out of the way.”
De Blasio complained that the city comprised “30 percent of the coronavirus cases in the United States, 70 percent in the state of New York,” while ignoring criticisms directed at him that he waited too long to take care of matters such as closing schools and other actions to keep New York residents from making contact with each other. “We need to take intense radical action right now.”
“If the president doesn’t act within days to maximize production, to get surgical masks, if he doesn’t mobilize the US military, people will die,” de Blasio said.
Sources say that on Feb.7, officials with the city’s Office of Emergency Management attempted to purchase nearly 200,000 N95 masks, however weeks later they learned that vendors had run out.
On March 6 and March 10, a full two months plus after the coronavirus outbreak first hit China, they finally secured the first emergency procurements of masks and hand sanitizer, according to the city’s comptroller’s office.
De Blasio blames Trump for lack of supplies yet NYC did not order supplies until March.
Must have slipped his mind. https://t.co/vGfMj1ytlf
— Deplorable Resistor 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@DeplrbleRzistr) March 20, 2020
“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?” said an angry City Councilman Chaim Deutsch.
“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,” Deutsch, a Brooklyn Democrat said.
According to a city hall spokeswoman, the city’s Office of Emergency Management on February 7 tried to purchase the masks, however regular vendors had run out. She said that the Health Department had already procured 19 million surgical masks and noted that there had been no payment delays.
In March, Comptroller Scott Stringer approved the early March orders of masks and hand sanitizer the same day, however a medical supply vendor who maintains standing city contracts told the New York Post that initial requests for the protective gear from the city’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services were caught up in bureaucratic red tape.
He noted that it took the agency and average of 72 hours to complete an order.
“We’d send them a list of products we can deliver within 24, 48 hours,” said the head of one of the medical supply companies.
He declined to be named out of fear of losing his current contracts.
“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,” he said.
The vendor stated that his company started stocking up on supplies in January and he works with a Chinese manufacturer that’s operating at 100 percent capacity.
He noted that the city missed out on eight of 10 supply orders because DCAS blew payment deadlines. And this is President Trump’s fault somehow?
“I personally live in the city. It’s just a shame to see the city move at the pace they’re moving. It’s just an embarrassment,” the supplier said.
“For the private sector, we’ve been selling and pushing product in the last four weeks and the city woke up two weeks ago,” the executive said.
A city spokeswoman said there were not payment delays.
On March 16, de Blasio suspended typical procurement rules and took over the process. Prior to that, the comptroller’s office approved 12 emergency contracts totaling $150 million.
During his press briefing last Thursday, de Blasio sought to assure the NYPD and other first responders who have complained about the lack of protective equipment, that he’s tried everything in his power to obtain supplies.
— Karrie Welborn (@WelbornKarrie) March 21, 2020
“We will do everything we can to get every conceivable supply of protective equipment from anywhere in the nation that we can on the private market and get it directly to you,” de Blasio said.
He then added that President Trump “has to give the order to get the federal government to get you what you deserve.”
Way to deflect there Mr. Mayor.
According to Nick Benson, a DCAS spokesman, the city maintains a three- month supply of gloves, cleaning products and hand sanitizer.
Since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, the city has ordered 25 million masks, 2 million bottles of hand sanitizer, 12,000 thermometers, and 2,000 ventilators. Turnaround times “vary significantly,” Benson said.
“There is enormous demand for these and other products, but the City of New York is leveraging existing contracts with vendors to obtain supplies. When a vendor is unable to provide the quantity we need, we have identified other vendors. In many cases, vendors are shipping goods as soon as they’re manufactured,” Benson noted.
On Thursday, de Blasio complained that if the federal government doesn’t send 3 million more N95 masks, 50 million more surgical masks, 15,000 ventilators and 45 million surgical gowns, coveralls gloves and face shields by April, the city might run out of these supplies.
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