Pritzker on States ‘Competing’ for Medical Equipment: ‘It’s a Wild, Wild West Out There’

Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Gov. J. B. Pritzker (D-IL) said states were having to compete with each other to get personal protective equipment for health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Pritzker said, “We just, just got a call this morning before I went on the air that we’re going to receive another shipment of PPE later today or tomorrow from FEMA, but 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. And unfortunately, we’re getting still just a fraction of that. So we’re out on the open market, competing for these items that we so badly need and we’re succeeding in some ways. But we still need more. I’ve got people on the phones, working the phones, calling across the world, frankly, to get this stuff shipped to Illinois.”

Host Jake Tapper asked, “That seems kind of a weird way to do it, you competing with Governor Newsom of California, competing with Governor Cuomo of New York. That doesn’t seem a very efficient way, not to mention thrifty way, to get these supplies as soon as possible.”

Pritzker said, “That’s correct. We’re all competing against each other. This should have been a coordinated effort by the federal government. And the National Defense Authorization that the president has to essentially push this manufacturing really hasn’t gone into effect in any way. And so, yes, we’re competing against each other. We’re competing against other countries. You know, it’s a wild West, I would say, out there. And indeed, we’re overpaying, I would say, for PPE, because of that competition.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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