Gov. J.B. Pritzker is planning to obtain millions of masks and gloves from China and bring those supplies back to Illinois on charter jets — but he’s keeping the details secret out of fear the Trump administration might seize the cargo for the federal stockpile, sources said Tuesday.
Illinois state Comptroller Susana Mendoza said Tuesday that the state has spent more than $174 million on purchases related to COVID-19, including supplies such as ventilators, masks, gloves, gowns, protective eyewear and hand sanitizer.
Among the list of expenditures: two invoices, each for $888,275, to FedEx Trade Networks Transport for “aircraft charter flight to Shanghai, China for COVID-19 response. … Prepayment required.”
Jordan Abudayyeh, Pritzker’s press secretary, wouldn’t provide details on the flights, saying only: “The governor has clearly outlined the challenges this administration has faced as we’ve worked around the clock to purchase PPE [personal protective equipment] for our healthcare workers and first-responders.