Donald Trump has told states they must buy ventilators on the open market instead of relying on the federal government.
From a March 31 press briefing:
NEW YORK GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D): Look at the bizarre situation we wind up in. Every state does its own purchasing. So, New York is purchasing, California is purchasing, Illinois is purchasing, we're all trying to buy the same commodity — literally the same exact item, so you have 50 states competing to buy the same item.
We all wind up bidding up each other and competing against each other where you now literally will have a company call you up and say: "Well, California just outbid you."
It's like being on eBay with 50 other states bidding on a ventilator. And you see the bid go up because California bid, Illinois bid, Florida bid, New York bids, California re-bids. That's literally what we're doing.
I mean, how inefficient? And then, FEMA gets involved and FEMA starts bidding, and now FEMA is bidding on top of the 50. So, FEMA is driving up the price. What sense does this make?
The federal government, FEMA, should have been the purchasing agent — buy everything and then allocate it by need to the states. Why would you create a situation where the 50 states are competing with each other and then the federal government through FEMA comes in and competes with the rest of it?
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.