State Watch

Illinois governor says state can increase testing capacity without White House help

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said Sunday that he does not need the White House’s help to increase testing in his state. 

“We’re doing it alone, as the White House has left all the states to do. And we have done well spinning up testing. We continue to grow our testing,” Pritzker said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” 

“We have the ability to do that on our own, and we are.” 

Pritzker said he’s not “counting on the White House, because there have been too many situations in which they have made promises not delivered.” 

Th governor added that the White House “promised a lot of swabs,” which he said are supposed to arrive in Illinois Sunday. 

“I’m looking forward to that,” he said.

He also attributed increasing COVID-19 numbers in his state to more testing.

Pritzker said the state surpassed 20,000 tests a day and wants to “keep going.” 

“We have got to make sure that we test as many people as possible,” he said. 

He also said the state is able to implement contact tracing across Illinois without help from the White House. 

“We have county health departments that do that. We have our state health department, which does that,” he said. 

White House spokesperson Judd Deere responded to Pritzker’s interview, claiming the governor’s “need to play politics has clouded his ability to tell the truth once again.”

“Over the last few weeks Federal leaders have conducted multiple rounds of testing technical assistance calls with Illinois and multiple Federal leaders have talked to the Governor and his team to help them turn on their testing capacity,” Deere said in a statement. “While most governors were quick to manage their state’s existing testing capacity, Governor Pritzker was quick to find a TV camera and attack the President, delaying the implementation of existing testing capacity and refusing to follow the recommendations of the federal government.”


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