The coronavirus outbreak is bringing out the competitive side of some states as medical resources dwindle.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Jake Tapper to respond to the recent struggle states are experiencing in gaining access to more equipment.
Tapper opened the exchange by quoting Pritzker previously saying he wished there would be more leadership and help that was coming from Washington. He asked Pritzker if it has been better since FEMA has taken over responding to requests for supplies.
“It is better, we really were getting very little help before,” Pritzker said, adding, “I think FEMA being the central repository for everything that we need is very helpful.”
Watch his comments below:
Illinois Gov. Pritzker says despite FEMA streamlining critical supply requests, the state is still only getting a fraction of what it needs and is competing against other states on the open market for supplies. “It’s a wild west… indeed we are overpaying" for PPE. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/3MLLFir83V— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 22, 2020
Pritzker went on to explain that he did receive word that they are going to receive another shipment of personal protection equipment from FEMA but it is still not enough.
“It’s a fraction still of what we’ve requested. We need millions of masks and hundreds of thousands of gowns and gloves and the rest. Unfortunately, we’re getting still just a fraction of that.” Pritzker said, adding, “So we’re out on the open market competing for these items that we so badly need.”
“Yes, we’re competing against each other, we’re competing against other countries,” Pritzker said, adding, “It’s a wild west, I would say, out there and indeed we’re overpaying, I would say, for PPE because of that competition.”
Pritzker is among the many governors working to relieve the social and economic effects of the coronavirus on their states.
In recent days, he ordered the closure of bars and restaurants to close dine-in operations, as IJR previously reported.