O’Neill was appointed Senior COVID-19 Advisor by Mayor Bill de Blasio last week, in order to coordinate the delivery of medical supplies to the city’s 56 hospitals. At the time, there were many healthcare workers pleading for gowns, gloves, face masks and ventilators.
“We’re not embedded in every hospital, but we are sending teams out to eventually every hospital to see what kind of inventory system they have, to see what they use for internal distribution,” O’Neill told FOX 5 NY. “What we found is that depending on the hospital, there are different distribution systems… we’re putting together our best practices.”
O’Neill says that he has not heard of hospital workers or management hoarding or even stealing supplies.
“From every healthcare worker we’ve encountered, nothing but professional, all they’re concerned about is saving lives,” O’Neill said.
Supplies are streaming into the city Health Department’s warehouse in Edison, New Jersey. PPE is coming from donations, vendors, the state and the federal government.
In response to criticism from Staten Island President Jimmy Oddo that his borough has been chasing supplies and communication without staffing help, O’Neill said that he is in direct communication with hospitals in the borough and that his team is continuing to scrutinize and improve the supply chain.
Currently, O’Neill says that surgical gowns are currently the biggest need in the city’s hospitals, but that could change in just a few days.