Illinois governor said states are 'competing' for equipment shipments: 'It's a wild, wild West out there'

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said Sunday he’s competing with states across the country for medical equipment needed to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. 

“It’s a wild, wild West out there, and indeed [we’re] overpaying for PPE because of that competition,” Pritzker said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” in reference to the personal protection equipment needed for healthcare workers to treat COVID-19 patients. 

Pritzker said Illinois received a fraction of the hospital supplies it requested from the federal government, forcing him to compete on the open market with governors in other states impacted by the virus, including California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomApple, Nordstrom stores hit in latest smash-and-grab robberies Ted Cruz ribs Newsom over vacation in Mexico: 'Cancun is much nicer than Cabo' San Francisco DA charges 9 involved in organized retail thefts MORE (D) and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), as those supplies become depleted.

Pritzker said instead of a competition, this “should have been a coordinated effort by the federal government,” adding that President TrumpDonald TrumpFive reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season Giving thanks for Thanksgiving itself Immigration provision in Democrats' reconciliation bill makes no sense MORE has to push for the manufacturing of necessary equipment. 

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor said in an earlier CNN interview that Trump has not ordered companies to make equipment. Gaynor said the order is not necessary because companies are stepping up and donating equipment. 

Pritzker said his state has received some of the equipment it requested after FEMA became the central repository for the supplies.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I do think FEMA is more prepared for this than the other agencies were,” he said. 

But Illinois has only received “about a quarter” of what it originally requested, he said.

Pritzker said he received a call Sunday that the state is receiving another shipment, but it is still “a fraction” of what he said the state needs. 

Gaynor said FEMA is receiving requests from “virtually every state in the union” and looking is focussing its efforts on the “hot spots that need it most.”