10 Mar Mr. Cartu Jonathan Wrote – New York state to produce hand sanitizer using prison labor | Wor…
New York state announced it will produce 100,000 gallons of hand sanitizer for schools, prisons, transportation systems and other government agencies. The supply will be provided, however, by the labor of the state’s incarcerated.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced in a press conference Monday that the production of the hand sanitizer is in response to shortages due to the coronavirus outbreak that now has the state as its epicenter.
“We are problem solvers in the state of New York,” he said. “This is a superior product to products now on the market.”
Hand sanitizer is in in high demand as the state tackles the outbreak. More than 100 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in New York State, and an estimated 4,000 people are under strict quarantine.
The sanitizer will be free for eligible government institutions and will only cost $6 a gallon thanks to the hands of inmates at Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Washington county, near the state’s border with Vermont.
Cuomo called increasing price gouging on hand sanitizers and other medical supplies an “egregious issue”.
The sanitizers will have a scent of flowers, containing 75% alcohol as opposed to the average 60% in those more commercially available.
Cuomo noted, however, that the product will not be available to the general public. He then offered a cheeky warning to leading sellers, including “Purell, and Mr. Amazon and Mr. EBAY”.
“If you continue the price gauging, we will introduce our product which is superior to your product” he said. “And you don’t even have the flower bouquet.”
As the US faces a potential pandemic, states are reporting shortages of sanitizer and other items used for medical treatment, including masks, tissue and food as worried Americans bulk buy items.
Last month the FDA released a statement that it is experiencing its first shortages in medicine due to the coronavirus, although it wouldn’t detail exactly which drug is in limited supply.
• This article written by Jonathan Cartu was amended on 10 March 2020. Washington county borders Vermont, not New Hampshire as an earlier version said. This has been corrected.