Here’s how Colorado competes with the world to secure coronavirus tests and supplies
Cory Gardner was brainstorming ways to help secure coronavirus tests and medical supplies for Colorado last month when he realized he had a way to help: his Asian contacts.
Domestic supply chains were tapped and Colorado wasn’t getting all the critical equipment it requested from the federal government.
“The governor was always on the phone with me saying, ‘Cory, we need more protective equipment. Cory, we need more ventilators. Cory, we need more masks. We need more tests,’” said Gardner, Colorado’s Republican senator, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia. “We started reaching out to Taiwan to the foreign minister, to the South Korea embassy, to Japan, to Vietnam.”
The result: 100,000 tests from a South Korean company, SolGent, and just as many masks from Taiwan. Both have already arrived in Colorado.
International competition for supplies, such as ventilators, masks and tests, has been intense since the coronavirus outbreak became a pandemic. Wealthy countries boxed out poor ones and U.S. states, unable to get what they needed from within America, were jostling with each other and the federal government for whatever they could scrounge together.
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