Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Pritzker sets up new Emergency Alert System - Pleads with president to use Defense Production Act - Announces expanded childcare, food and homeless programs - Evaluating whether to extend EO - More cases because of additional tests and virus is spreading - Pleased with Trump invoking Defense Production Act - Working on hospitalization numbers over the weekend - “We’ll get around to talking about” biz demands
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Pritzker sets up new Emergency Alert System - Pleads with president to use Defense Production Act - Announces expanded childcare, food and homeless programs - Evaluating whether to extend EO - More cases because of additional tests and virus is spreading - Pleased with Trump invoking Defense Production Act - Working on hospitalization numbers over the weekend - “We’ll get around to talking about” biz demands

Friday, Mar 27, 2020

* The governor began his press conference by calling on all licensed healthcare providers across the state to sign up for a new Emergency Alert System at IllinoisHelps.net…

Additionally, thanks to your amazing outpouring of support our healthcare workforce is expanding. We have now received more than 510 applications from former healthcare workers to get back into the fight. Still more healthcare workers are needed. If you have recently retired or left the profession to start a new career. Please come back to work for at least the next few months to help us battle against COVID 19

Remember to pardon all typos.

Pritzker talked about the US House’s passage of the $2 trillion emergency bill and said “I’ll continue to work with our federal counterparts to bring in as many dollars, home to Illinois, as possible.”

* And then…

I want to take a moment today to address some of the latest ideas that have been floating out of the oval office. President Trump yesterday went on a talk show to question whether Americans really need more ventilators to save people’s lives. He did this on the same day that our nation overtook China and Italy, having the highest number of COVID 19 positive cases to say that these comments are counterproductive is an understatement. And frankly, at worst, the comments are deadly.

When I said that the bedrock of my decisions was science, I meant it. The equipment we have, the equipment we’re still seeking, these are the recommendations of the best medical experts, epidemiologists, mathematicians and modelers in the nation, all of whom have set aside their daily duties to help save as many lives as possible. We need exactly what we’re actually asking for. Perhaps more. If we don’t get the equipment we need, more people will die.

The president needs to use the defense production act to put order into the market for ventilators and pp. It will prioritize Americans over foreign countries, and allow states on the front lines to access the equipment. We so badly need, he needed to do this to activate the defense production act weeks ago, or even yesterday, but it still will make a massive difference in our national health care system if he simply moves quickly.

One way or another, we need these supplies, and I have a whole team of people whose singular focus right now is working the phones, calling across the world, to get as much PPE as many ventilators, and as many tests as possible shipped to Illinois. This morning because of my state team and their hustle and working all hours of the day and night, we received another shipment of state procured E 95 masks, and they have been in the process of delivering stocks of PPE. That is our staff to Champaign to Peoria, Edwardsville and Marion. We will not rest until each and every region of our state has what it needs. But without the federal government, individual states don’t have enough market power to procure what is needed on their own. So I urge the president to join us in this work, and take the federal actions that are available to him and to him alone.

* Childcare…

I’m proud to say that we’ve received more than 600 applications for small group emergency childcare licenses from people organizations schools and communities, looking to help their essential workers from health care professionals to grocery store employees. Additionally, hundreds of our childcare homes are staying online to provide care in socially distance settings. And now we will be providing each of the providers who stepped up in this time of need with an additional stipend $750 each for licensed homes, $2,000, each for centers, running one or two classrooms and $3,000 each for those running three or more classrooms.

* SNAP and WIC…

My team at the Department of Human Services is submitting multiple waivers to the federal government to deliver as much nutrition support to as many Illinoisans as possible. Already we’ve been able to automatically extend SNAP certifications set to expire March, April or May, another six months until September, October and November. We’ve also been able to waive the physical presence requirements for SNAP applicants and participants, enabling people to further reduce the time that they spend outside their homes and increase people’s ability to apply for assistance online.

* Homelessness…

DHS has gone through its budget with a fine tooth comb and redirected millions of additional dollars to address all aspects of homelessness assistance statewide, with a focus on expanding our ability to offer temporary shelter. That’s on top of the doubling my administration has done of the state homelessness prevention program over the last year. We’re also increasing all of our existing state homelessness service contracts by an additional 5%

* IDHS Secretary Hou…

With the recent passage of the federal family first legislation, monthly SNAP benefits will increase dramatically. In some cases by over 90%, a month. For example, a single person with a disability, or an older adult with less than $2,000 of monthly income is eligible for $194 in monthly SNAP benefits. Now, before the legislation passed, they would have received $16 a month. A family of four making less than $42,000 a year is now eligible for $646 a month in SNAP benefits

* On to questions for the governor. Mayor Lightfoot said the stay at home order could go deep into April. Will it?…

The truth is we evaluate this every day, we really do and we try to look at the trajectory of the people who are tested positive for the virus. We look at the trajectory of the hospitalizations and the issues around the the deaths of course that are occurring, the ICU beds. And we ask ourselves, what’s the next move, what’s the most important thing we need to do now. And more than ask ourselves because some of us, we don’t come to this as experts, though we’re quickly moving in that direction, but we rely upon the science, we rely upon the experts out there to tell us. Are we on the right trajectory are we reaching a peak, when will we reach a peak, what happens on the other side of a peak. So we’re constantly evaluating that and so I think it’s worthy of everybody just paying attention to. Nothing is set in stone.

You’ve seen there’s been a progression here. We were among the leaders among states, first to ban large group gatherings and then to close schools, to ban bars and restaurants from opening, and so on. But you’ve seen a progression right, if I knew then what I know now perhaps I would have put a stay at home order in back you know when we shut down St. Patrick’s Day parades. But we’re evaluating the science as it comes in and making the moves that we think are necessary.

* What do you do to acquire more PPE and other supplies?…

I’ve been one of the loudest governors on the subject of testing because the truth is that there isn’t much testing going on across the country. You can imagine that what we’ve experienced is very similar to what many other states have experienced in terms of what’s available for testing. I just want to remind you that there’s an entire supply chain associated with testing. It’s not just like well here’s a test, and you know it’s one thing it’s actually made up of viral transport media and nasal swabs, and RNA extraction and, you know, and then the machines themselves, which are expensive. The Roche machines and others that are available and there are only so many of those in the world and what do you know there’s a shortage of virtually every one of those items. That’s why we asked the president to invoke the defense production act. It’s why we asked the president to loosen up the ability of hospitals to develop their own tests which they finally did do and thank God. We’ve got some of the best hospitals and health care providers research institutions in the world and so they were quick on it, and we were able to ramp up more testing. We’re working every day.

* Are we seeing more cases because of additional testing or because the virus is spreading?…

Both. The simple answer is both. We’re only doing so many tests right, you can see that there’s a limit to the number of tests we can do.

* There’s breaking news that President Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act to order GM to make ventilators

I just want to thank you very much that is really great news invoking the defense production act is so vitally important as I said to the president directly. Look, he’s a businessman. He didn’t want to interfere with the capitalist market. He wants business people to do what they do, that’s all well and good but we are in a crisis we’re in a national crisis. That’s why you know and I said to him, I was a businessman too before I became governor. I understand what you’re saying, but the market is the Wild West out there. We’re competing against each other in the United States, and then against other countries for what already exists in the United States so I’m so pleased to hear that there’s some movement but that’s only GM that’s terrific. But we need more, we need much more.

* Would you please ask the governor when he expects the General Assembly to act on issues related to a proposed Chicago casino…

I don’t know, all I can tell you is that we’re in the midst of an international pandemic. An emergency, a crisis. And I would like action on I have an entire list of things that we’d like to get done for the state of Illinois. But right now, you know the priority is saving lives.

* When will Illinois begin releasing a count of hospitalizations caused by COVID 19 as other states like New York have done?

We’re working on that now, I mean we obviously, we talked to all the hospitals all across the state. We get data, but you know, over history that data has been collected in different ways across the state. We want to make sure that it’s all in one system. We’ve been piecing it together. But in terms of our ability to report that on a regular basis to all of you. We’re making sure that we’re doing that we’ll be working on that over the weekend.

* Several chambers of commerce are asking their lawmakers to shift the minimum wage increase schedule, exempt unemployment insurance benefit claims from affecting the business contribution rate and deferring sales tax payments. A re you discussing any of these ideas right now?…

We’ve already deferred sales tax payments. On the other two, these are obviously things that we’ll want to be working through over the next couple of months. I just want to remind everybody though, I’ve had calls with some legislators or others who raise some of these issues that like the minimum wage or like the fair tax or something else. And I’ll be honest with you, we’re in the midst of the biggest crisis in our lifetimes, at least in my lifetime across the nation. So, we’ll get around to talking about those things, but right now we’re focused on hospitals healthcare workers and those who are sick and dying.

-30-

- Posted by Rich Miller        

14 Comments
  1. - Pundent - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 2:59 pm:

    =When I said that the bedrock of my decisions was science, I meant it. If we don’t get the equipment we need, more people will die.=

    Trump on Hannity - “I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they’re going to be.”

    So that’s our choice. Follow what the scientists are telling us or Trump’s “feeling”.


  2. - anoni - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 3:10 pm:

    Head of IDHS is Hou, not Cho


  3. - Pat Quinn Mowing Grass - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 3:10 pm:

    Pritzker can’t help but throw partisan bombs. Lay off already. This ain’t the Democrat tent at the fair.


  4. - Pundent - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 3:15 pm:

    =Pritzker can’t help but throw partisan bombs. Lay off already.=

    More people will die. Republicans and Democrats. Nothing partisan about it.

    Or do you think we should just ignore the guy who’s going on national TV sharing his “feelings” and ignoring science and the medical community.


  5. - Birdseed - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 3:18 pm:

    === If we don’t get the equipment we need, more people will die. ==

    and also, if we do get the equipment we need, more people will die.


  6. - WeAreAVillage - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 3:18 pm:

    A key issue to remember is, in the absence of the federal government stepping up in a huge way to provide necessary supplies, of all kinds, across the country, States and large metropolitan areas are all fighting time and each other to get supplies. That’s insanity!


  7. - BobO - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 3:31 pm:

    As a state funded disability service provider, I can say that our entire field is grateful for Pritzker and his team at DHS, Public Health, etc..

    Cant imagine how things would be if this happened under the previous administration.


  8. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 3:42 pm:

    “Pritzker can’t help but throw partisan bombs. Lay off already. This ain’t the Democrat tent at the fair.“

    Grab the pearls and fainting couch. The president constantly attacks people. He called the growing pandemic a Democratic hoax.

    When we’re having an international pandemic and some obsess about cutting back the minimum wage and delaying the fair tax. Great on Pritzker to put things in perspective.


  9. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 3:48 pm:

    Pritzker:”The president needs to use the defense production act to put order into the market for ventilators and pp. It will prioritize Americans over foreign countries, and allow states on the front lines to access the equipment.”
    This isn’t just partisan bomb throwing. This needs to get done Republican governors are saying this too.


  10. - West Sider - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 3:57 pm:

    ===ask the governor when he expects the General Assembly to act on issues related to a proposed Chicago casino…===
    They’re building a hospital within McCormick Place- and someone used their question to ask about casinos.


  11. - colin - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 3:59 pm:

    =Pritzker can’t help but throw partisan bombs. Lay off already.=

    It’s not that hard to make the case that JB’s tack, if anything, has actually helped convince Trump to do things and he’s actually very measured in his approach. Read the bit about talking to him as a businessman again. Carrot and stick.


  12. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 4:05 pm:

    ===Pritzker can’t help but throw partisan bombs===

    Pritzker is stating facts backed up by science and medicine. He’s also calling out Republican legislators who are throwing partisan bombs of their own during this crisis. Plus, he’s been quick to praise Trump when he does the right thing. I fail to see the partisan rhetoric from the governor. The fact that you do probably says a lot about you.


  13. - Pundent - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 4:09 pm:

    =Pritzker is stating facts backed up by science and medicine.=

    And I’ve yet to hear a scientist or doctor disagree with anything he’s said. And by the same token I haven’t heard any of those same individuals endorse the President’s feelings or hunches. And some of those scientists and doctors are Republican.

    Life and death is not a partisan issue.


  14. - Jibba - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 4:22 pm:

    “and also, if we do get the equipment we need, more people will die.”

    Fewer if we get the equipment. Did you know that when you made the comment?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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