(Adam Andrzejewski, RealClear Wire) After states and cities engaged in frenzied buying and stockpiling of COVID-19 supplies in the early days of the pandemic, some are now realizing they have an overabundance of supplies. New York City has already disposed of $14.1 million worth of extra supplies, with plans to dispose of $13.7 million more soon, according to the New York Post.
NYC was one of the earliest and most aggressive COVID preppers, with then-Mayor Bill DeBlasio championing a litany of initiatives early on to slow the spread. Now, excess perishable supplies such as chemical COVID tests and hand sanitizer are being destroyed en masse by the city.
This isn’t the first time New York has had problems dealing with excess COVID supplies. Last summer, it was exposed that New York State had 700,000 gallons of hand sanitizer worth $4.3 million sitting unused in warehouses.
In addition to disposing of $28 million in supplies, NYC is also auctioning off expensive equipment such as ventilators for pennies on the dollar. So far, NYC has auctioned off $225 million worth of equipment for only $500,000. That includes a $12 million loss on ventilators.
NYC is defending its aggressive purchasing, with a Department of Citywide Administrative Services spokesperson telling the Post, “Supplies were purchased to meet potential worst-case scenarios, and fortunately the city had ample supplies, helping us save lives and beat back the surge, instead of falling short.”
While it’s true uncertainty abounded in the early days of the pandemic, the vast majority of states and municipalities were able to feel adequately prepared without wasting millions on equipment and supplies that were never used. Now, taxpayers are paying the price for the city’s poor planning.