SPRINGFIELD (AP) – 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 Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced Tuesday 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.
But one of the items on the list of expenditures was unusual: 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, the press secretary for Pritzker, wouldn’t provide details about the flights, including when they will happen, how many there will be and what the routes are.