New York Governor Kathy Hochul paid a New Jersey-based company $637 million for COVID tests during the Omicron wave.
The company, Digital Gadgets, received up to $13 per unit – some companies charge as low as $5.
The company is tied to almost $300,000 in donations to Hochul’s campaign.
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
They spent far more on tests from Digital Gadgets than other companies.
Digital Gadgets: $637M
Spectrum Medical: $80M
Bill Hammond, senior fellow for health policy at the Empire Center for Public Policy expressed concern over the deal saying the administration was charged more than a consumer buying a test in a retail store – this is despite the fact the administration bought in bulk.
Despite buying 52 million tests in bulk, the administration paid Digital Gadgets as much or more than consumers would pay in a retail store, according to Bill Hammond, senior fellow for health policy at the Empire Center for Public Policy.
Hammond reviewed the records obtained by the Times Union and was struck by the significantly higher price the administration paid Digital Gadgets, resulting in hundreds of millions in additional spending.
What a return on investment!