Monday, September 12, 2022

Hochul Gave COVID Test Contract to Campaign Donor That Charged Taxpayers Double; Gov. Hochul’s No-Bid COVID Testing Contract is Sick and Wrong, and other C-Virus related stories

Hochul gave COVID test contract to campaign donor that charged taxpayers double:
Gov. Kathy Hochul had New Yorkers pay twice as much for COVID tests from a company tied to nearly $300,000 in donations to her campaign compared to other state vendors, a new report details, raising fresh concerns of alleged pay-to-play behavior ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
“Whether it was pay-to-play or total incompetence – New York taxpayers and then the federal taxpayers got massively ripped off,” John Kaehny, of the good-government group Reinvent Albany, said of the Digital Gadgets deal funded by New York taxpayers with the help of federal relief aid.
While some companies charged the state just $5 for rapid tests, the N.J.-based Digital Gadgets got as much as $13 per unit in a total of $637 million worth of no-bid deals for millions of tests as Hochul pushed schools to stay open amid the omicron wave last year, according to the Times Union
The deal was made under suspended procurement rules enabled by a state of emergency that Hochul has renewed every month since late last year.
Some Republicans are now calling for Hochul to come clean about the questionable purchases. --->READ MORE HERE
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Gov. Hochul’s No-Bid COVID Testing Contract is Sick and Wrong:
Reporting from Albany reveals that Gov. Hochul gave favored insiders — a family that donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to her campaign — a sweetheart deal amounting to $637 million.
The Tebele family, which owns Digital Gadgets, a New Jersey-based fulfillment center and distributor of tech products, got a no-bid deal to provide New York State with 52 million at-home COVID tests for $13 apiece — double what others were charging.
The deal was signed the very same day that Digital Gadgets made the overpriced offer, which Hochul defends on the grounds that the firm was able to “deliver critically important tests” during the overhyped Omicron wave. She insists that the cozy relationship between her campaign and the firm’s owners was not a factor, and she “was not aware” of it at all.
If you enjoy that one, how’d you like to buy the concession rights to a stadium in Buffalo? Envelopes can be found under the nearest table.
The no-bid procurement arrangement on COVID tests would normally be totally illegal. State purchasing contracts are supposed to be transparent and subject to review before deals are struck. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

New Covid app can detect virus from people’s voices ‘more accurately than lateral flow test’

How long COVID is impacting the nationwide labor shortage

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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