COVID-19: NYC Quote of the Day 2020-04-14

Tuesday, April 14, 2020, NYC Mayor de Blasio - New York City Will Be Self-Sufficient

Over these last years, we've seen in New York City more and more the growth of advanced manufacturing, the growth of biotech, the growth of the technology sector more and more capacity growing in this city and it's allowing us to do things that before would not have been imaginable. I've taken several trips out to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This work is now being supercharged. The face shields, which are so crucial to keeping our heroes safe, people in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, making the face shields by hand with the components they could get. We really need them, but we only had enough to get through this week. Now, we have eight companies in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and in Manhattan, all working together to create the maximum number of face shields for our heroes. Now they can produce 240,000 per week. That will grow to 465,000 per week by Friday, April 24th. And then the goal soon thereafter will be to produce 620,000 face shields per week right here in New York City, made by New York city workers in New York City companies. That is enough to reach the crisis standard we're working under right now. We will be able to fulfill our entire need for face shields right here in New York City. New York City will be self-sufficient.

Surgical gowns. This is an area where it's not possible yet to be self-sufficient, but where we're making huge, huge strides. Five companies are now participating in this effort to protect our heroes. They're in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, they're in Sunset Park, they're in the Garment center in Manhattan and in Long Island City, Queens. They're currently only making 30,000 per week, but by next week that will go up to 100,000. Soon thereafter, we want to get to 250,000 surgical gowns per week. These are brand new production lines created from scratch by companies here, by New York City workers in an atmosphere crisis, and they've surpassed any possible expectation we could have, and they're going farther.

The number one issue from day one has been testing. So we could start on that road from this widespread transmission of the coronavirus to low-level transmission and eventually no transmission. To get there, you must have testing in large quantities. We've had one breakthrough on the open market and then another breakthrough right here in New York City, and I'm so excited to tell you about this. Our friends from Carmel, Indiana, a biotech firm there donated test kits to us. Now they have confirmed they can produce them regularly for New York City. So, on top of their donation of 50,000 kits, which we're so appreciative for, Aria Diagnostics, Carmel, Indiana is now going to be producing test kits for New York City. Starting Monday, April 20th, we'll be purchasing 50,000 full test kits per week from Aria Diagnostics. I'm sure New Yorkers wouldn't have thought that the cavalry would come from Carmel, Indiana, but it has. I want to thank Mayor Jim Brainard of Carmel, Indiana.

So, that's 50,000 per week, but we're going to need a lot more. Starting in a few weeks, we will be producing here in New York City, 50,000 test kits per week with components put together right here with companies, universities, New York City workers right here, building a brand-new supply chain to feed this industry that will now develop in New York City. 50,000 tests per week to begin, and if we can go farther, we're going to build it up rapidly. It means commercial labs and academic institutions in this city working together to produce that liquid solution the right way. It means local manufacturers and 3D printers, coming together to make the testing swabs and the tubes. Something as simple as us testing swabs, the entire international market has been struggling, because those swabs had been less and less available. In fact, a lot of them are made in places that were deep in the middle of the COVID crisis themselves. So, the whole international supply was disrupted. But now, through the ingenuity of New York City producers, figured out a way to make them right here. Production will begin in a few weeks at the beginning of May 50,000 a week to begin. Add that to the 50,000 a week from Aria Diagnostics, we'll have 100,000 full test kits per week that New York City can rely on, 400,000 per month, and that's just the beginning.
Edited for redundancy, grammar, and emphasis
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