Democratic Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said Sunday that President Donald Trump is to blame for the Republican governors who were slow to enact “stay-at-home” orders.
Pritzker spoke with CNN’s Jake Tapper about the state-by-state response to the continued spread of coronavirus, claiming that the federal government’s lack of preparation was the reason more people were dying.
Pritzker began by criticizing the president for not making sure that the response to coronavirus was federal rather than state-by-state, arguing that because states didn’t have control of things like the Defense Production Act, they could not fully prepare for a pandemic. (RELATED: Environmental Racism Is An ‘Underlying Health Condition’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wants Reparations For Coronavirus)
“Individual states can’t possibly do what the federal government can do. We don’t have a Defense Production Act. There’s no way that we could stockpile in anticipation of a pandemic that no one anticipated,” Pritzker explained. “And yet the federal government is responsible for doing precisely that. And we now know that intelligence sources and all the best advice that was given was given in January and early February to the president and the White House, and they seem not to have acted at all upon it. If they had started in February building ventilators, getting ready for this pandemic, we would not have the problems that we have today, and frankly, very many fewer people would die.”
Tapper then noted that there were eight remaining states which had not enacted statewide stay-at-home orders — one of which shares a border with Illinois — and asked Pritzker to weigh in on that as well.
“Look, it’s not for me to tell the governor of Iowa what to do or the governor of Missouri, they only put their stay at home in very recently and they’re also a big border state for us,” Pritzker replied, suggesting then that a stay-at-home order — or at least a suggestion — should have come from the White House.
“So it was up to the federal government to begin with, to advise and to ask all the governors to put in stay-at-home orders. Those governors, Republican governors, would have done it have earlier if the president had suggested it much earlier,” Pritzker claimed. “They knew at the federal level that that was the right thing to do. You can hear it in the words of Dr. Fauci, who I’ve had many direct conversations with, and Dr. Birx. They knew it. But the president was apparently reluctant and we see what the results are today.”
Just two weeks ago, Pritzker appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and claimed that the president’s slow response to the pandemic was the reason state-by-state quarantines were necessary in the first place.