Coronavirus update: Chicago area doctors, nurses concerned by COVID-19 crisis response

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There is confusion and concern by some doctors and nurses in Chicago because of stretched-thin resources and still not enough coronavirus testing kits.

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Nurses and doctors on the front line of the fight against COVID-19 told the I-Team Monday that they have been disappointed, even by their own institutions. President Donald Trump offered a differing opinion when he was asked how he would rate his administration's response to the pandemic.

"I would rate it a 10," Trump said. "I think we've done a great job. We were very, very early with respect to China and we would have a whole different situation in this country if we didn't do that."

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As the president hails his team's response, the outbreak spreads and grows. In Chicago, several medical professionals from different hospitals have told the I-Team they have deep concerns about the federal response and their facilities being slow to prepare for an expected surge of COVID-19 patients into already full intensive care units. Some hospitals are preparing temporary facilities for coronavirus testing, including a drive-through testing tent.

As Illinois looks at months of COVID-19 crisis response, state officials laid out what the possible role of the National Guard might look like.

"What we're doing to work on that, in part includes helping hospitals expand their triage before people go into an emergency room, just one example," Pritzker said. "You've seen it in a few other places in the nation, is to set up a tent or an outbuilding near an emergency room but outside of it so people who have COVID-19 aren't traipsing into the ER and possibly giving it to somebody else. Kind of like a respiratory tent almost, so people can be screened there before we decide, or they decide at the hospital, what to do with that patient. The National Guard can help with some of that."

The National Guard has not been deployed by Governor Pritzker, though he does have the authority to do so.
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