U.S. President Donald Trump slammed the media and state governors over their coronavirus efforts after the governor of Illinois claimed the gap the federal government has created with its poor response has forced states to compete for much needed medical supplies and other preventive resources.
Governor “JB Pritzker” said in a statement to CNN on Sunday that there “should have been a coordinated effort by the federal government” to help cash-strapped states obtain “personal protective equipment” like respirators and other health workers’ supplies.
Mr Trump was also largely criticised for wavering on an emergency mandate that would force companies to begin manufacturing the supplies that are needed.
However, President Trump said the governors and “fake news” (referring to the media) shouldn’t blame the federal government “for their own shortcomings”.
“We are there to back you up should you fail, and always will be,” he said.
Governor Pritzker didn’t hold back in returning a match to the President’s claim. “You wasted precious months when you could’ve taken action to protect Americans and Illinoisans. You should be leading a national response instead of throwing tantrums from the back seat. Where were the tests when we needed them? Where’s the “personal protective equipment”? Get off Twitter and do your job,” the Governor said.
Trump believes that it’s in the governors’ place to fight the COVID_19 outbreak in their states. Last week, he called Michigan‘s governor Gretchen Whitmer “the failing Michigan governor” when they called for a federal response to help them battle the outbreak.
The current report shows that Illinois has recorded at least 753 confirmed coronavirus cases, with not less than six deaths. The state now becomes one among six states to implement a statewide “stay-at-home” measure to help curb the spread.
Illinois’ Governor, Pritzker told CNN: “These should have been done nationally … I’ve got to protect the 1.7m who live in my state,” while adding that, “unless more Americans are told to stay at home and to stop interacting in the way that they were, we’re going to see thousands or tens of thousands more deaths than we otherwise would”.
The state, plus Chicago metropolitan area, with a population of 2.7m people, did not postpone its Democratic primary election on 17 March, giving way for thousands of people to meet at the polls and possibly distribute the virus.
Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot, also hit back at Trump saying, “Dear Lord, please step up and be a leader. While you have been yammering about hoaxes and fake news, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit all over America. “Governor Pritzker” and others have filled this country’s leadership gap. Lead or get out of their way.”