New York is producing its own hand sanitizer due to shortages caused by the coronavirus outbreak

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new hand sanitizer developed by the state after widespread shortages caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak. The sanitizer is being developed by Corcraft, which uses low-cost labor from inmates.

Posted: Mar 10, 2020 8:41 AM
Updated: Mar 10, 2020 8:41 AM

If you can't get it anywhere, you can make it here.

New York will be producing its own hand sanitizer, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday.

The announcement came in the wake of widespread shortages caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, which have led to price-gouging both online and in stores.

Cuomo made the announcement at a press conference, where he unveiled the product, dubbed NYS Clean, from behind black curtains.

"We are introducing New York State Clean hand sanitizer, made conveniently by the State of New York," he said while holding a bottle. Cuomo described it a "superior product to products now on the market," citing its higher alcohol content than what's found in competitors like Purell.

"It has a very nice floral bouquet," Cuomo added of the scent, describing it as a mix of lilacs, hydrangea and tulips.

The hand sanitizer is now in production, and Cuomo said that it will be distributed to New Rochelle, as it is a "significant hotspot."

The sanitizer is being developed by Corcraft, a "brand" that is produced by the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. It uses inmates at correctional facilities throughout New York for low-cost labor.

By law, Corcroft is only allowed to sell its products to government agencies at the state and local levels, schools and universities, courts, fire departments, police departments and some not-for-profit organizations.

A study by the Prison Policy Institute found that inmates in New York state can be paid as low as $3 a week for labor. Inmates who work at Corcroft are paid as low as $0.16 an hour, and on average, make $0.65 an hour. A bill introduced by NY state lawmakers hopes to change that by raising the minimum wage for inmates to $3 an hour.

Cuomo said that a gallon of the sanitizer would cost $6.10, a 7 oz. bottle will cost $1.12 and a smaller bottle will cost $0.84.

Cuomo did not announce a timetable for a wider release of the sanitizer, though he did threaten Amazon and eBay that he would "introduce" the product if the companies continued to permit price gouging on their online platforms.

"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, and you don't even have the floral bouquet," Cuomo said. "So stop price gouging."

Last week, eBay said it would stop the sale of hand sanitizer on its website, though listings are easy to find. Amazon said it's deleted over 1 million listings over price gouging or false advertising.

Some people have started producing their own, using recipes found online combining a mix of rubbing alcohol, aloe and oils.

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