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After Kushner Blames Coronavirus Failures On States, Pritzker Fires Back: ‘It’s Called The UNITED States of America’

"What the heck has the Trump administration been doing over the last three-and-a-half years?" Mayor Lori Lightfoot added.

Left: White House special advisor Jared Kushner; Right: Gov JB Pritzker
Flickr; Colin Boyle/ Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Gov. JB Pritzker has repeatedly taken aim at President Donald Trump during the coronavirus crisis — and now he’s slamming Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Kushner, a senior adviser in the White House, has faced heavy criticism since Thursday night, when he referred to the federal stockpile of medical supplies as “our stockpile” and not the states’.

Pritzker and other officials, like Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, have repeatedly called on the feds to share supplies from the federal stockpile. They’ve said the stockpile is meant to be distributed to states during times of needs — like the coronavirus crisis.

But the federal government hasn’t done that amid the growing pandemic and mounting deaths.

Instead, it’s been like the “wild West” as governors fight each other and the federal government to buy up supplies.

“I don’t know if Jared Kushner knows this but it’s called the ‘United States’ of America,” Pritzker said during a Friday press conference. “I don’t think anybody expected a respiratory pandemic that would deplete all the respiratory stockpiles that exist and that the federal government would abdicate its role and have 50 states, and five territories on top of that, all competing among one another and competing against the federal government.”

Kushner does not understand the role of the national government during an emergency, Pritzker said.

Lightfoot, who was also at the press conference, said Pritzker had showed “incredible restraint” in his remarks about Kushner.

“We shouldn’t have to beg the federal government to step up and assume its responsibility here,” she said. “What the heck has the Trump administration been doing over the last three-and-a-half years? … The federal government has failed to do the planning that it needs on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to be prepared.”

Lightfoot added that Kushner’s comments, which cast aspersions on Americans in need, says a lot about him.

Pritzker and Lightfoot have criticized the federal government heavily during the crisis, saying Trump’s administration has made missteps that slowed down testing, hasn’t provided tests despite repeated promises, hasn’t provided the supplies needed by states like Illinois and has spread incorrect information.

Earlier this week, after the government sent Illinois 300,000 of the wrong types of masks needed for health care workers, the governor said the federal response has been a “profound failure” that will go down in history.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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