New York state announced Monday that it is using prison labor to produce its own hand sanitizer product in an effort to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
“We are introducing New York State clean hand sanitizer, made conveniently by the state of New York,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said in a press conference. Cuomo claimed that the sanitizer is superior to others because it contains 75 percent alcohol.
“To Purell, and Mr. Amazon and Mr. eBay, if you continue the price gouging, we will introduce our product, which is superior to your product,” said Cuomo. “And you don’t even have the floral bouquet, so stop price gouging.”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces hand sanitizer created by the state, and says it will be distributed to schools, governmental agencies, MTA, prisons and more, calling it "a superior product to products now on the market." https://t.co/iNGFbepCLw #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/naJSkSyj1Y
— ABC News (@ABC) March 9, 2020
Corcraft Products, operated by New York’s Department of Correctional Services, Division of Industries, is manufacturing the product and expects to pump out 100,000 gallons weekly.
The supplier’s mission, according to its website, is to “employ inmates in substantive jobs that help teach a good work ethic and valuable work skills, to help offset the cost of incarceration, to help reduce disruption in the prison environment and to meet expectations of New York State’s citizens.”
Cuomo also announced 37 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in New York, sending the state’s total to 142.
On Saturday, Cuomo announced a state of emergency, allowing “expedited purchasing and expedited hiring” to combat the illness.
“Westchester is an obvious problem,” the governor told reporters. “We talk about contagion in clusters; clusters tend to infect more and more people.”
“We are [being] hypercautious,” he added.