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Uihlein asks when we can go back to our “normal lives”

Friday, Mar 13, 2020

* One of the wealthiest people in the state just sent out a mass email to Illinois legislators, several of whom forwarded it to me…

From: Liz Uihlein
Date: March 13, 2020 at 12:22:09 PM CDT
Subject: The Media is Overblowing COVID-19

Dear Members of the Illinois Legislature:

There were 1,701 cases in the U.S. of which there were 41 deaths; whereas an overwhelming number of people have been infected with and died from the flu this season.

While you may think the government enforced closing of events, schools, etc. is helping prevent the spread of this infection, you are impacting local, state and national economies and adding unnecessary panic and fear in the American people.

What happens in 2 weeks? Are you willing to indefinitely close institutions? At what point do we go back to our normal lives? This has been a huge disruption.


Liz Uihlein

President, Uline

Ma’am, we go back to our “normal lives” when this virus is under control. Sorry for the disruption.

* Rep. Jonathan Carroll sent me his response…


I guess the professional sports leagues, Broadway Musicals and other gatherings being cancelled or postponed is our fault too? President Trump is about to declare a state of emergency. Is he overreacting?

Your email is so obtuse.


Uihlein and her spouse have contributed $29 million to candidates over the years.

…Adding… Will Jeanne Ives be getting an angry email soon?…

Given the recent reports about the spread of COVID-19, the campaign has made the decision to keep our Election Night celebration small out of an abundance of caution.

…Adding… Another response…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ok - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:51 pm:

    Don’t they make sell toilet paper? Storm the gates(exclamation point)

  2. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:51 pm:

    Yeah, that’s definitely the kind of person I want endorsing and funding my campaign /s

  3. - Roadrager - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:53 pm:

    If she thinks she’s being inconvenienced now, wait until the demand for office supplies plummets.

  4. - SWIL_Voter - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:53 pm:

    We’re all losing our jobs and getting sick just to get some bad press for the President, this is what the Fox crowd is going with

  5. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:54 pm:

    If it wouldn’t affect the rest of us, I would encourage Liz to head downtown and feel free to lick a hand railing.

  6. - No Raise - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:54 pm:

    Agree with Liz. Degree of panic is neither warranted or healthy.

  7. - West Sider - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:54 pm:

    Billionaires are SO last week.

  8. - Archpundit - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:54 pm:

    I mean, these people are familiar with economic forecasting…do they really think public health forecasts are just wild guesses?

  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:54 pm:

    Losing money, for the wealthy, shows you where their heart and soul is.

    Some are about money and how their money is hurt.

    Ms. Uhilien needs her money to be safe, I guess before people are safe.

    Good to know. Thanks.

  10. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:55 pm:

    Her email is ridiculous. Obviously she does not realize that the death rate for the flu is much, much lower than the death rate for COVID-19. Not to mention, our president and his administration is working hard to artificially deflate the number of cases by not adequately testing people.

  11. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:55 pm:

    === Degree of panic is neither warranted or healthy.===

    Italy might disagree… but

  12. - TominChicago - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:56 pm:

    Wow. Talk about billionaire privilege.

  13. - John Amdor - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:56 pm:

    FACT: The average 24″ cubic corrugated cardboard box can easily hold more than 80lbs of rock and aggregate material and has a higher IQ than the average member of the Uihlein family.

  14. - Pundent - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:56 pm:

    Wait until her driver or maid calls in sick. Then it will hit home.

  15. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:56 pm:

    Ms. Uihlein: You have no clue how widespread this virus is. No. F-ing. Clue.

    Drop some cash and buy tests for 10% of the population of the state. Then, we might consider your advice.

  16. - Pundent - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:59 pm:

    =Degree of panic is neither warranted or healthy.=

    Did you both get your MDs at the same school?

    We have a finite number of hospital beds available. Look at the math here and tell me how many of those could be occupied in 2-3 weeks if we do nothing. As Rich pointed out yesterday, Italy had two (2) cases on January 30th.

  17. - Linus - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 12:59 pm:

    Hey, Liz: The Chicago Archdiocese just canceled all masses.

    CATHOLICS DO NOT CANCEL ALL MASSES. Meaning this truly is a serious matter.

    You don’t agree? Take it up with Mother Church.

  18. - a drop in - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:00 pm:

    Even the crazy Republicans are beyond this meme. They are now claiming the last pandemic was worse under Obama and the press gave him a pass. Get up to date, madame.

  19. - Left of the Lake - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:01 pm:

    Just so rich…

  20. - Give Us Barabbas - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:05 pm:

    The rich have a very different idea of what “normal again” means, than do you or I.

    Their idea of social and political “norms” may turn out to be the stuff of nostalgia before this is over.

    A “normal” flu doesn’t create permanent fibrosis in your lungs, turning them into the same condition as a retired 40-year coal miner’s.

    I swear, the Uihlein’s of this world need to read up on the French Revolution. When this world returns to “normal”, it will not resemble what they’re thinking of.

  21. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:05 pm:

    Obtuse is a nice word for what she is.

  22. - Don't Worry, Be Happy - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:06 pm:

    Well that’s going to make it’s way into some campaign mailers in a few months. Way to help out the recipients of your campaign contributions.

  23. - OneMan - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:10 pm:

    Let them eat penicillin…

  24. - walker - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:11 pm:

    Until we get the results of the first million tests, we won’t know where we are, or how the future mitigation plan might work out. Right now we are trying to secure the bomb and to cool it down sufficiently for a long steady burn. Then we can manage it longer term, and return to some form of normalcy. No reasonable alternative right now.

  25. - Perrid - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:13 pm:

    I vacillate between thinking people are being hysterical and thinking that I should be MORE hysterical. None of the measures seems that overboard though, except maybe school closings.

    The entitlement of reaching out to the legislature to complain about about what you think is an overreaction is breathtaking. Especially since I’m not 100% sure what she wants the legislature to do…

  26. - Archpundit - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:13 pm:

    ===Degree of panic is neither warranted or healthy.

    Other than the bizarre run on toilet paper I’m not seeing panic.

  27. - LakeCo - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:22 pm:

    People unclear on the concept of the spread of disease…
    =There were 1,701 cases in the U.S. of which there were 41 deaths=
    Love how she uses the past tense. As if those numbers are anywhere near accurate, absence the widespread availability of testing kits, and as if those numbers had peaked and are now going to decrease rather than skyrocket over the next several days.

  28. - Norseman - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:22 pm:

    Despite the messenger doing her best Marie Antoinette impression, the underscores the tremendous pressure placed upon our public health responders and the policy makers they advise. Actions have a life altering impact. The life and health of the public versus the economic harm that will result. It’s all too easy to criticize the folks making these decisions.

    As is frequently stated, but seldomly understood, an effective preventive public health intervention means little or nothing happens. It’s only when public health prevention fails when it’s need becomes clear. The failures are often the result of insuffienct funding due to a perceived lack of need because prevention has been effective.

    I’ve seen the pressure on these dedicated professionals dealing with public health issues small and large. Hindsight is always perfect, but the clarity of history is not available when those decisions need to be made. Perfect responses will not happen. After response analysis to improve future response is undertaken. Planning for future response is a tried and true tenet of the profession.

    Public health response is also subject to the judgment of politicians. They too have to juggle the health and economic ramifications. I would ask they make that judgment based on science and facts.

    Marie Antoinette in her palace can glibly criticize, I feel the pain these professionals are going through trying to balance those life altering decisions. God bless you.

  29. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:23 pm:

    Yo Liz,

    Maybe you should check out the data.

  30. - LakeCo - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:23 pm:

    =While you may think the government enforced closing of events, schools, etc. is helping prevent the spread of this infection=
    No. No “think.” That’s exactly what it is doing. Get on board or get out of the way.

  31. - Archpundit - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:25 pm:

    I’m just thinking about the arrogance of sending out a mass e-mail to lawmakers. Usually those sorts of things are done by people with tin foil fixations. Apparently billionaires do it too.

  32. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:30 pm:

    ==Other than the bizarre run on toilet paper==

    Amen. We’re going to have to have toiler paper security at work to ensure rolls don’t disappear and to enforce a one square rule.

  33. - unspun - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:31 pm:

    Dear Liz:
    Don’t you have some futile candidacies toward which you may occupy your time and incinerate your cash?

  34. - Annonin' - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:31 pm:

    Online pencil sales must really be down for Liz to tap like that…learn from the Catholics who never skip a chance to pass the basket.

  35. - PublicServant - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:34 pm:

    This email crystallizes why the Uihlein money goes where it does…just sayin.

  36. - Dee Lay - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:35 pm:

    So many banned words for this one.

    Ask Liz to worry about her employees and make sure they are taken care of first. Oh, never mind.

  37. - stateandlake - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:36 pm:

    Someone in the twitterverse put it well–if we do our social distancing and handwashing well enough to avoid crashing our healthcare system, it will look in retrospect as if we were overreacting. So be it.

  38. - Northsider - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:39 pm:

    Archpundit @ 1:13: Well, there are lots of [censored]s out there.

  39. - Nick Name - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:41 pm:

    Let us all pause and shed a tear for the poor, poor billionaires.

  40. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:42 pm:

    =Other than the bizarre run on toilet paper I’m not seeing panic=

    Up in our neck of the woods there’s also a run on wine. That’s less bizarre

  41. - brugroffil - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:43 pm:

    hard not to feel absolutely boiling rage at these people right now

  42. - ??? - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:50 pm:

    Wow. Sooooo tone-deaf. Reminds me of the scene in “Titanic” where Kate Winslet’s snobby mother (a 1st class passenger) asks if they will be seated in the lifeboats “according to class,” and says she hopes the lifeboats “aren’t TOO crowded,” not caring that the vast majority of the 3rd-class passengers won’t get a spot on a lifeboat at all.

  43. - Flapdoodle - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 1:51 pm:

    Oops — should be “we said people so . . . .”

  44. - Moe Berg - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 2:01 pm:

    From The New Republic:

    ** Julian Sanchez has been writing about the right’s tendency toward “epistemic closure” — an intellectual world in which the only trustworthy sources of information are those within your movement. Sanchez is libertarian-ish, but clearly argues that this is primarily a right-wing phenomenon. **

    That’s our Liz and her Fox-bubble world.

    So, the fact that the first two states to close schools have GOP governors can’t penetrate it.

  45. - Archpundit - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 2:05 pm:

    ===p in our neck of the woods there’s also a run on wine. That’s less bizarre

    I’ve been making a run on beer for a bout a year.

  46. - thoughts matter - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 2:29 pm:

    Her opinion is similar to various posts I’ve seen from a certain group on social media. These posts all imply that this is faux news and that there is no true pandemic. Most of those posts don’t say they’ve sent a mass email to everyone’s representatives, though.

    There a certain part of the population that won’t believe in the need to do anything until their beloved relatives are the ones in the hospital. Then they will ask why nothing was being done to prevent them getting sick.
    The virus is here. Although it’s important to know who was patient zero, etc to prevent future pandemics, we first need to slow the progression here. Not shake our fists at whomever cancelled our favorite event.

  47. - Fixer - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 2:31 pm:

    Mortality rate, Liz. If you can look up these email addresses, you can look that up too.

  48. - Ebenezer - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 2:39 pm:

    I took a call from a friend in Rome on Tuesday. He opened with:

    “Hi, I’m calling from your future.”

    Nothing I’ve seen since has been reassuring.

  49. - Rich Hill - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 2:44 pm:

    Does she send Trump indignant email now that he’s declared a national emergency?

  50. - AnonymousOne - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 2:44 pm:

    For some people nothing is important unless it happens to them. The epitome of selfishness.

  51. - Morty - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 4:46 pm:

    Tone Deafness at it’s finest

  52. - Annon - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 4:55 pm:

    Pretty sure Rex Tillerson’s quote about DJT applies here.

  53. - srboisvert - Friday, Mar 13, 20 @ 5:02 pm:

    At what point can I return to Liz Uihlein’s normal life?

  54. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 16, 20 @ 9:20 pm:

    She should stick to what she knows best - not offer uninformed opinions on how to do the jobs of infectious diseases specialists.

  55. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 19, 20 @ 10:20 am:

    If anyone should be worried. It should be her, has she heard that the elderly and most at risk….? Very poor behavior and poorly written from someone of her reputation. What a way to hurt herself even more since I know many people who won’t use this company anymore now.

  56. - Janet Hildmann - Monday, Mar 30, 20 @ 5:46 pm:

    What does she think now still overblown as her workers call out sick?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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