Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Gov. J. B. Pritzker (D-IL) said that President Donald Trump’s administration has made promises many times and not delivered regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Anchor Jake Tapper said, “So you were talking about testing 20,000 a day. But of course, as you know, you need to get that number higher in order for people in Illinois to have confidence that there is a real program of surveillance testing, of contact tracing. What do you need, since the White House is obviously not going to lead a national effort to do surveillance testing and contact tracing the way that they do at the White House itself, what do you need in order to get to what Harvard says you need to get to, about 64,000 tests a day? Are you ever going to get to 64,000 tests a day? And do you need President Trump to do something, or do you have enough power yourself to get there?”
Pritzker said, “Well, look, you know that I have not been counting on the White House because there have been too many situations in which they’ve made promises not delivered. Very recently, they promised a lot of swabs. They’re supposed to arrive today, the first shipment of those. I’m looking forward to that. But what we’re doing is we’re going it alone, as the White House has left all the states to do. And we’ve done well, spinning up testing. We will continue to grow our testing. We have the ability to do that on our own. And we’ve had contact tracing across the state. We have county health departments that do that. We have our state health department, which does that.”
“But what we’re now going to put in place and we’re in process is a — we’re imitating one of the great collaborative efforts that’s happening in the United States, and that’s what’s happened at Massachusetts,” Pritzker continued. “It’s the Massachusetts contact tracing collaborative. We can do that in Illinois. We have hired somebody who was at the CDC, you know, who is an expert at their outbreak intelligence service. We think we can have a massive contact tracing up in the next few weeks. Contact tracing, testing, you’re right, in order to reopen businesses, in order for people to feel confident, we have to make sure we’re constantly growing those efforts.”
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