Pritzker family firm has ties to COVID-19 testing companies
The Pritzker Group, a private and venture capital firm co-founded by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, is connected to at least two companies creating COVID-19 tests.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s family investment firm, Pritzker Group, owns stakes in at least two companies creating COVID-19 tests, according to a news report. Pritzker has boasted Illinois is now testing the most residents per capita among the most populous states.
Pritzker’s private capital firm, which he co-founded with his brother Anthony in 1996, has invested in PathGroup, a clinical and molecular pathology company. Cue Health, a health care technology company, received funding from The Pritzker Group’s venture capital arm. Both companies have announced the development or plans to develop tests for COVID-19.
Pritzker has previously said he put his financial assets in a blind trust after he was elected to office, stepped down from his position at the family firm and relinquished decision-making power at the Pritzker Group. Pritzker’s brother, Anthony, is now chairman and managing partner at the firm.
“I really have been uninvolved for three years, so if there’s anything like that, I would not know about it,” Pritzker said Tuesday.
The state has not entered contracts with either company, but Cue Health has been awarded a federal testing contract worth $13 million.
The Pritzker family business and philanthropic empire spans several endeavors, most prominently the Hyatt hotel chain. Pritzker’s personal fortune has been valued at $3.4 billion.
Illinois GOP Chairman Tim Schneider has called on the governor to divest any interest he has in the firm. “The Pritzker Group controls the companies that are making millions off the pandemic, and the Governor stands to make huge profits,” Schneider said in a statement to Fox News.
Former-Gov. Bruce Rauner faced scrutiny and criticism in 2018 after disclosing income earned from a private equity fund that had a stake in a health care provider with government contracts to service jails, prisons, and most notably, immigration detention centers. Rauner likewise argued at the time he had relinquished investment decision-making power.
Schneider is calling for transparency, adding that by placing his assets in a blind trust, Pritzker makes it difficult to determine if he or his family stand to benefit from his public policy decisions.
“Pritzker must divest and come clean,” he said.