(The Center Square) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker used his daily news conference Monday to hammer the federal government failing to deliver needed supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s the federal government’s job to make sure that a nurse being properly equipped in Illinois doesn’t come at the cost of a doctor being ready for work in California,” he said.
Pritzker listed off the millions of masks, gloves and other equipment that state officials had requested from the federal government. He said the state was given only a fraction of what it requested.
Pritzker repeated what he had told CNN on Sunday regarding President Donald Trump’s resistance to using the Defense Production Act and how it was forcing Illinois taxpayers to pay more for protective equipment.
“I’m literally working against a competitor,” he said.
The governor said that he was ordering things such as ventilators while competing with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, other states and other countries for the same products.
Pritzker said that he spoke with President Donald Trump on Monday morning.
Pritzker said the president was resistant to his suggestions about a broader use of emergency production orders, but Trump told Pritzker he would “see what he could do” about demands for more protective equipment.
Republican Minority Leader Jim Durkin said Pritzker's effort to blame the federal government was misplaced.
“As in all emergencies, time spent on blame or fault provides little or no merit nor solutions,” Durkin said in a statement.
Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike announced off 236 new cases of COVID-19 and three new deaths. As of Monday, 1,285 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported along with 12 deaths.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the new coronavirus that emerged in late 2019.