Neww York City mayor Bill De Blasio has been blaming the Trump administration for the city’s severe shortage of Covid-19 medical supplies but truth is city officials did not order them in time, according to a report in the New York Post:
Officials with the city’s Office of Emergency Management tried to purchase nearly 200,000 n95 masks on Feb. 7, but weeks later they learned the vendors had already run out.
It was not until March 6 and March 10 – over two months after the coronavirus outbreak first hit China – that they finally secured the first emergency procurements of masks and hand sanitizer, according to the city comptroller’s office.
“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?” fumed City Councilman Chaim Deutsch.
People who work in the private sector would normally follow-up on vendor requests that are this critical, but in NYC apparently city workers are not that diligent.
Of course city workers can’t easily get fired for making mistakes, so they take a different approach than most private sector workers.
“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,” the Brooklyn Democrat said.
Don’t normally hear a Democrat be this blunt in blaming Bill De Blasio, and not the president.
A City Hall spokeswoman said on Feb. 7, the city’s Office of Emergency Management tried to purchase nearly 200,000 N95 masks, but regular vendors had already run out. She added that the Health Department had already stockpiled 19 million surgical masks and said there have been no payment delays.
Comptroller Scott Stringer granted approval for the early March orders of masks and hand sanitizer the same day, but a medical supply vendor who has standing city contracts told The Post that initial requests for protective gear from the Department of Citywide Administrative Services were mired in bureaucratic red tape.
It took the agency an average of 72 hours to complete an order, he said.
“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, who declined to be named for fear of jeopardizing 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.
Maybe this crisis is a wake-up call in how government is run, and how it works in a situation like we face today.
Perhaps government workers need to be held accountable, and as easily fired for non-performance as public sector workers.
Either way this is a tragedy of epic proportions for the people of New York City and the blame lies squarely in the mayors office.
Which perfectly explains why De Blasio is going on every TV program he can to blame Trump for the mess he himself created.