Pritzker, Lightfoot Tee Off On Feds, Kushner

WBBM Newsradio Staff
April 03, 2020 - 4:02 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Officials in Illinois aired more gripes Friday over what they say has been an unsatisfactory COVID-19 response from the federal government. 

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker brushed off suggestions by Jared Kushner, a top aide to President Trump, who suggested states demanding supplies from the feds may not have scoured their own stockpiles. 

Pritzker said his state and the city of Chicago have reserves of "Personal Protective Equipment" for healthcare workers and other equipment. But the federal government is supposed to backstop states with supplies from the national stockpile, Pritkzer said.  

“Jared Kushner just does not understand this issue. He does not understand what the federal government’s role is supposed to be in a national emergency," the governor said. 

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, accompanying Pritzker at a news conference, went further, questioning the Trump Administration's competency. She noted the feds' supply of ventilators is only 10,000, which is considered woefully inadequate during the current pandemic. 

"The question we should ask is what the heck has the Trump Administration been doing over the last 3 1/2 years?" she said. "What that tells me, what I think it tells public health professionals across the nation, is that the federal government has failed to do the planning that it needs on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to be prepared.”

She added that Kushner criticizing state governments "tells you a lot of the character of him."

Pritzker, a Democrat, has been a vocal critic of Republican Trump's response to the growing pandemic and has sought to pressure the White House to step up supplies and testing capability. 

Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, on Thursday referred to the national stockpile of medical supplies as "our stockpile" that doesn't belong to states.