Weeks ago, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) told the federal government he needed hundreds of thousands of protective masks for medical personnel in the state. Pritzker specified that these needed to be N-95 masks in order to protect from coronavirus, but he announced Monday that the Trump administration sent surgical masks instead. Surgical masks provide no protection from the COVID-19 virus.
At his daily briefing, Pritzker was unable to hide his frustration with the shoddy job being done by federal agencies that are supposed to be assisting states as they battle the virus:
“I can say with certainty that what they sent were not the N95 masks that were promised, but were surgical masks, which were not what we asked for. In our first request to the federal government, we asked for 1.2 million N95 masks. That was weeks and weeks ago. … We received a fraction of what we asked for.”
Daily #COVID19 Briefing: Governor JB Pritzker says mask sent to state from federal government were not the N95 masks, as requested, but surgical masks. @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/sHnEGJ1koQ
— Dana Kozlov (@DanaCBS2) March 30, 2020
HuffPost notes that Pritzker has been a vocal critic of what he calls the White House’s “profound failing” in handling the pandemic which has killed nearly 3,200 Americans and infected another 164,800:
“’I can’t emphasize enough how much we need the federal government to step up and amplify the size of their PPE deliveries to Illinois, and frankly, across the nation,’ Pritzker said on Monday.
“On Friday, Pritzker implored the president to invoke the Defense Production Act ‘to put order into the market for ventilators and PPE’ and ‘allow states on the front lines to access the equipment we need.'”
Other states have also reported a shortage of the essential supplies needed by doctors and nurses. Among them are the states of Michigan, New York, and Washington. Rather than working to help those states, President Donald Trump has instead chosen to attack the governors of the states, accusing them of not being “appreciative” enough for what he’s doing.
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