EDITORIAL: Public deserves answers on covid test purchase – The Daily Gazette

This page was created programmatically, to read the article in its original location you can go to the link bellow:
https://dailygazette.com/2022/09/19/editorial-public-deserves-answers-on-covid-test-purchase/
and if you want to remove this article from our site please contact us


Why did New York pay 45% more than the state of California for the same covid tests?

Simple question. Not a simple answer.

But it’s a question that needs to be answered by an independent authority before the upcoming election for governor, so that voters can more completely assess the honesty and competency of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration.

At issue is New York’s purchase last winter of millions of covid rapid, at-home tests through a distribution company, Digital Gadgets, LLC.

Because the governor still had extensive emergency powers under the covid emergency, she was able to order the purchase without scrutiny from the comptroller’s office.

Had the state avoided going through Digital Gadgets, it might have been able to save taxpayers about $286 million out of the $637 million it ended up paying.

It’s not just the amount that the state paid and the fact that the state went through the intermediary instead of purchasing directly from the test manufacturer.

The Times Union reported last week that California paid 45% less than New York for the same tests, even though New York purchased five times as many tests as California did. How did California get such a large volume discount, when New York ended up paying so much more for many more tests?

Perhaps not coincidentally, Digital Gadgets has contributed nearly $300,000 to the governor’s election campaign.

The matter raises issues about whether the governor rewarded Digital Gadgets with a lucrative no-bid state contract in exchange for its financial support of her campaign.

The governor, of course, has denied any hanky-panky, defending the price and timing of the purchase by citing the need for the state to obtain a large number tests during a period of high national demand and the limited availability of the tests at that time.

Others say the state had plenty of opportunity to buy the tests without going through Digital Gadgets and without paying such a high price.

An independent investigation is needed to sort through the purchase and determine whether it was legitimate or the result of some kind of pay-to-play arrangement.State Attorney General Letitia James and state

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, like Hochul, are Democrats, and both have endorsed Hochul for governor. On a matter as serious as this, it would be difficult for either to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest should they conduct investigations of the deal.

Any investigation would have to be approved by both Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature or be conducted by an independent federal agency or court to avoid the potential conflict of interest.

Voters have a right to know whether this purchase was legitimate or whether it was influenced by political factors.

With only eight weeks to go before the election, the investigation needs to begin now and conclude before voters decide their next governor.

More: All OpinionAll News

More from The Daily Gazette:

Categories: Editorial, Opinion


This page was created programmatically, to read the article in its original location you can go to the link bellow:
https://dailygazette.com/2022/09/19/editorial-public-deserves-answers-on-covid-test-purchase/
and if you want to remove this article from our site please contact us

Leave a Reply

You have to agree to the comment policy.

eighteen + fourteen =