Illinois governor: Federal government sent wrong type of masks
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) on Monday said that his state received the wrong type of medical masks from the federal government in a shipment meant to equip medical professionals responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
“My team is sorting through the shipment of 300,000 N95 masks the White House personally told me would be sent to our state, and while we do not have a final count on this yet, I can say with certainty that what they sent were not the N95 masks that were promised but instead were surgical masks, which is not what we asked for,” he said at a press conference, according to CNN, which noted that doctors wear the N95 masks when interacting with infected patients.
Pritzker added the he couldn’t “emphasize enough how much we need the federal government to step up and amplify the size of their PPE [personal protective equipment] deliveries to Illinois and, frankly, across the nation.”
Last week, Pritzker and President Trump clashed online after the president attacked governors who criticized the federal response to coronavirus.
“You wasted precious months when you could’ve taken action to protect Americans & Illinoisans. You should be leading a national response instead of throwing tantrums from the back seat,” Pritzker tweeted. “Where were the tests when we needed them? Where’s the PPE? Get off Twitter & do your job.”
Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that Pritzker and “a very small group of certain other Governors, together with Fake News @CNN& Concast (MSDNC), shouldn’t be blaming the Federal Government for their own shortcomings.”
His tweet followed an appearance by Pritzker on CNN in which the Illinois governor said an inadequate federal response had forced states to compete for resources, telling host Jake Tapper it “should have been a coordinated effort by the federal government.”
Later in the week, Trump, who has repeatedly suggested that states should take the lead in acquiring needed materials to respond to the virus, singled out two governors who have been outspoken in calling on the federal government to do more to facilitate the response: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).
More than 160,000 people in the U.S. have been infected with the coronavirus as of Tuesday morning, and more than 3,000 people have died, according to data compiled by CNN.
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