‘If you continue the price-gouging, we will introduce our product, which is superior to your product—and you don’t even have the floral bouquet…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Appearing to blur the lines between comedy and reality, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a press conference Tuesday to announce his plan for “New York state clean hand-sanitizer” which—perhaps appropriately, given the state’s notorious sanitation issues—will be made by prison convicts.
During the brief remarks, Cuomo boasted that the product contained 75 percent alcohol as opposed to its major competitor, Purell, which contains 70 percent.
Cuomo did not mention whether there would be any protocols in place for overseeing and regulating the prisoners’ handling of the alcohol, which could prove volatile and dangerous even if not consumable.
Although he said the state would be providing it to government agencies, schools and transit authorities, another question may be whether the prison-grade product could pose a risk of contamination during the production process.
However, he did tout the plan as a cost-saving technique, particularly given the recent panic over an outbreak of the coronavirus.
The Environmental Protection Agency said products like Lysol, Purell and Clorox had proven reasonably effective in eliminating the virus threat if present on household-type surfaces.
The result was a run on the germ-killing products along with some fears over price-gouging.
“You can’t get it on the market, and when you get it, it’s very, very expensive,” Cuomo said.
He issued a warning “to Purell and Mr. Amazon and Mr. Ebay: If you continue the price-gouging, we will introduce our product, which is superior to your product—and you don’t even have the floral bouquet.”
Cuomo’s proposal for a government–free-market hybrid was a step up from past proposals such as the state’s support for socialized health care options.
The epidemic fears have caused the governor—one of President Donald Trump’s most obstreperous critics—to dial down his attacks recently in the spirit of cooperation.
After having accused Trump of “punishing” New York’s resistance against federal immigration and other policies only recently, Cuomo agreed with Trump last week that there was no need to panic about a coronavirus epidemic.
“The bottom line realization that 80 percent of the people will self-cure, self-resolve the virus and the target problem,” Cuomo said. “The 1.2% mortality is senior citizens and people who have compromised immune systems.”
He sought to reassure the public that the two sides could be trusted to work together on a solution.
“I think part of it is people don’t know who to believe,” he said. “You have Democrats blaming Republicans for not doing enough. Republicans say Democrats are hyping it. And it’s that political filter that says to people, ‘I don’t know who to believe and I don’t even know how bad this is.’ And that’s what generates fear, it’s the unknown.”