Illinois Gov. Pritzker says states were forced to compete in ‘sick Hunger Games’ competition for PPE without national coronavirus plan

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker

Brian Cassella | Chicago Tribune | Tribune News Service through Getty Images)

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker mentioned states have been forced to compete in a “sick Hunger Games”-like competition for private protecting tools and different provides wanted to struggle the coronavirus pandemic without a powerful federal response.

Pritzker, a Democrat, instructed U.S. lawmakers Wednesday the U.S. authorities’s “muddled response” left states to strive to supply their very own provides as health-care professionals battled rising circumstances. He mentioned the federal authorities’s inaction left states to compete towards one another and worldwide allies for provides.

“In the midst of a global pandemic, states were forced to play some sort of sick ‘Hunger Games’ game show to save the lives of our people,” Pritzker mentioned. “Let me be clear: This is not a reality TV show. These are real things that are happening in the United States of America in 2020.”

The state ended up paying $5 for masks that usually value 85 cents, he mentioned in testimony earlier than the House Homeland Security Committee. 

Pritzker’s feedback echoed comparable grievances from different governors earlier this 12 months.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has beforehand mentioned the state had to compete towards different states for medical provides. Cuomo has mentioned masks that initially value 85 cents value $7 in New York amid the pandemic. New York purchased stitching machines to make its personal masks, Cuomo mentioned.

“When health professionals are crying out across the nation, are crying out for supplies, it’s the federal government’s job to ensure a nurse being properly equipped in Peoria, Illinois, doesn’t come at the cost of a doctor being ready for work in San Antonio, Texas,” Pritzker mentioned. “There was no national plan to acquire PPE or testing supplies, and as a result, people died.”

Similarly, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy mentioned in a March interview on ABC News’ “This Week” {that a} fraction of his state’s medical tools wants had been met. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer mentioned on the identical present in March that her state, like New York, had turned away from the federal authorities and to corporations to manufacture the tools.

Pritzker criticized the period of time it took to invoke the Military Defense Production Act. Going ahead, he mentioned, the federal authorities wants to institute some national guidelines, together with a masks mandate, in addition to to present extra testing provides and to make clear insurance coverage protection for testing.

“If the government has one job, it’s to respond to a life-threatening emergency,” Pritzker mentioned. “But when the same emergency is crashing down on every state at once, that’s a national emergency, and it requires a national response.”

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