Amid eight additional coronavirus cases confirmed in Illinois Tuesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker expressed his frustration with the federal government’s slow response—demanding more tests be sent to states.
“I have personally reached out to senior federal officials to demand that we get more tests as soon as possible,” Pritzker said. “It’s critical to our response and to the response of every state and jurisdiction across the nation that as we see a national surge in cases, we are matching that with a rapid increase in testing."
Although Pritzker said officials anticipated additional COVID-19 cases, he said federal response has been slow, despite declaring a disaster proclamation in Illinois Monday and urged the state receive more testing kits as soon as possible.
“I am very frustrated with the federal government, we have not received enough tests,” he said. “We have tests, we are testing, but we would like to be able to test anybody that shows signs that they need to be tested and anybody who would like a test and we’ve been told now for days and days and days, indeed weeks I would argue, that their commercial labs will be coming online…we haven’t seen it.”
Pritzker said President Donald Trump's administration “passed up the opportunity to use the testing that was already developed in Europe and in Asia... I don’t know why the federal government chose to go its own direction,” he said.
Officials focused on urging older adults in the area to limit their movements in the community and avoid large gatherings.
“We need to be able to gage the exact scope of COVID-19 spread and it is imperative that the federal government provide leadership here,” Pritzker added.
A total of 19 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Illinois as of Tuesday.