April 10, 2020

Durbin, Duckworth Discuss COVID-19 Response in Illinois with Army Secretary McCarthy


[WASHINGTON, DC] U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a combat Veteran and member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services committee, and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, spoke with U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy today to discuss the Army’s COVID-19 response efforts in Illinois. Durbin and Duckworth asked about operations at the McCormick Place Field Hospital and ongoing U.S. Army efforts to support Illinois frontline health care workers. Durbin and Duckworth also discussed progress being made by the Army Corps of Engineers to construct additional facilities to test and treat Illinoisans, National Guard missions and operations in the State, vaccine research and development, and how the manufacturing capabilities at Rock Island Arsenal could be used as part of the COVID-19 response.

“I appreciated the opportunity to speak with Secretary McCarthy about the urgent need for more Army Reserve soldiers to be deployed to McCormick Place to help that facility prepare for the expected wave of cases in Chicago,” Duckworth said. “We also discussed how to make better use of the extraordinary manufacturing capabilities of the Rock Island Arsenal at a time when our nation desperately needs life-saving medical equipment.”

“I thanked Secretary McCarthy for his help and coordination on the ground in Illinois when it comes to setting up facilities and providing manpower in Chicago to help test and treat Illinoisans,” Durbin said. “I also asked him to take a close look at the Rock Island Arsenal and whether it can serve the needs of our country during this pandemic in production of PPE and other medical supplies.”