Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker slammed President Trump for claiming states should have been more prepared to handle the coronavirus pandemic, stating that state governments didn’t have the same power the federal government has. “The president does not understand the word federal, Federal Emergency Management Agency, we have a State Emergency Management Agency, but if [Trump] were right, why would we ever need a Federal Emergency Management Agency?” he said on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, according to The Hill. “It’s because individual states can't possibly do what the federal government can do.” Pritzker specifically criticized the Trump administration on the Defense Production Act, claiming that lives would have been spared if the government made companies produce ventilators months ago. “[W]e 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 seemed to not have acted at all upon it,” he said, adding that “very many fewer people would die” if the White House had acted.
This comes after Trump said states were “totally unprepared” for the pandemic. “So we had to go into the federal stockpile, but we’re not an ordering clerk, they have to have for themselves,” he told reporters on Friday.