Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) was just looking for some help from the Trump administration for a dangerous situation but instead he got slammed.
The situation at hand was an extremely overcrowded O’Hare Airport since the screenings for the coronavirus has been amped up.
The crowds at O’Hare were at such alarming levels there was no way to keep the social distancing rules encouraged by health officials.
Pritzker said that instead of help, he got verbally attacked. He complained about the situation in a tweet and then said an aide to President Donald Trump “yelled at me about the tweet.”
Pritzker was asked about it on NBC’s “Meet The Press” and he said, “Here’s what I got. I got a call at about 11:00 last night after that tweet from a White House staffer who yelled at me about the tweet. That is what I got.”
Of course and anonymous White House source went on record to the Washington Examiner to say, “There was no yelling.”
Pritzker said in order to avoid “exactly what you don’t want during this pandemic” the Trump administration should have provided airports with more federal workers since there were expected delays from heavy traffic due Americans returning to the U.S. to abide by Trump’s European travel ban.
Pritzker said that instead of that, the administration was “completely unprepared” as things worsened dramatically throughout the weekend.
O’Hare wasn’t the only airport in the country with that kind of crowd. Americans all over the nation were returning home and facing airports in the exact conditions that health officials have warned could hasten the spreading of the dangerous COVID-19, many of them waiting in lines for up to seven hours, shoulder to shoulder with other passengers, sometimes being asked to share pens as they filled out paperwork. U.S. airports just weren’t ready.
Pritzker said he and other U.S. governors are “on our own” when it comes to battling the coronavirus because the federal government has “fallen down” on the job and he added, “I wish we had leadership from Washington; we’re not getting it.”
Pritzker blasted a loaded tweet at Trump saying, “since this is the only communication medium you pay attention to — you need to do something NOW.” He also said, “The federal government needs to get its s@#t together. NOW.”
The crowds & lines O’Hare are unacceptable & need to be addressed immediately.@realDonaldTrump @VP since this is the only communication medium you pay attention to—you need to do something NOW.
These crowds are waiting to get through customs which is under federal jurisdiction— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) March 15, 2020
Pritzker said, “We’ve been talking to Customs and Border Patrol officials directly on the ground at O’Hare. I’ve been working with the mayor and our senators to make sure we’re getting the federal government to pay attention to this problem.”
They will be required to answer questions about their medical history and current health condition, and will be required to provide contact info for their local health authorities. After returning to the U.S., they will then being urged to isolate themselves for two weeks.
Trump tweeted on Sunday, imploring the nation to “pardon the interruptions and delays.” Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf tweeted that they were “aware” of “long lines,” but said that screenings should only take “60 seconds.”
DHS is aware of the long lines for passengers who are undergoing increased medical screening requirements. Right now we are working to add additional screening capacity and working with the airlines to expedite the process. 1(/2)— Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) March 15, 2020
2/2 I understand this is very stressful. In these unprecedented times, we ask for your patience. It currently takes ~60 seconds for medical professionals to screen each passenger. We will be increasing capacity but the health and safety of the American public is first & foremost.— Acting Secretary Chad Wolf (@DHS_Wolf) March 15, 2020