Pritzker's Critique Of Fed Virus Response Angers Trump

Associated Press
March 23, 2020 - 7:46 am
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker listens to a question after announcing a shelter in place order to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus, during a news conference Friday, March 20, 2020, in Chicago.

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

CHICAGO (AP) — Governor J.B. Pritzker criticized the federal government's response to the coronavirus pandemic Sunday, saying Illinois hasn't received enough medical supplies, prompting an angry response from President Donald Trump.

Pritzker said Illinois got a recent supply but that it was a fraction of what was requested from the federal government. The first-term Democrat, who has issued a statewide “stay at home order” amid the pandemic, said Illinois is buying supplies from the open market, as are other states also in need of supplies.

“We're all competing against each other,” Pritzker told CNN's “State of the Union.” "This should have been a coordinated effort by the federal government."'

Illinois' public health officials announced 296 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, including an infant, bringing the total number statewide to 1,049. The Illinois Department of Public Health also announced three additional deaths, bringing the total number to nine.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Pritzker and other Democrats, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, were on various TV news shows Sunday questioning why Trump hasn’t yet made military resources available despite triggering the Defense Production Act.

Trump, who has said repeatedly that his administration is not to blame for the growing pandemic, lashed out against the Democratic leaders on Twitter saying they should not be “blaming the federal government for their own shortcomings.”

He added: “We are there to back you up should you fail, and always will be!”

Pritzker's order, which took effect Saturday evening, requires Illinois residents to remain in their homes, except for essentials, joining similar efforts in California, New York to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Pritzker said there should be such an order in place nationwide.

(© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)