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Dear media: This is neither a lockdown nor a shelter in place order

Saturday, Mar 21, 2020

* This happened everywhere yesterday afternoon

After announcing the order, Pritzker spent considerable time trying to reassure people that the state at home order does not mean sealed up in the homes unable to leave.

“You’ll still be able to leave your house to go to the grocery store to get food. You’ll still be able to visit a pharmacy, go to a medical office or a hospital or to gas up your car at a gas station,” Pritzker said. “You’ll still be able to go running and hiking and walk you dog. Many, many people will still go to work. For the vast majority of you already taking precautions, your lives will not change very much.”

Pritzker said that agriculture, the news media, plumbers, Laundromats, banks, roads, bridges and mass transit will remain available.

“You can still pick up dinner from your local restaurant, pick up your prescriptions and just spend time with your family,” he said.

“This is not a lockdown or martial law,” added Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “There is no need to change your normal purchasing patterns.”

But even as Pritzker and others were giving their daily update on the coronavirus, photographs were showing up on social media showing throngs in grocery stores stocking up on food and other supplies.

I blame the Chicago Tribune’s headline writers for at least some of that mass panic. The paper decided to run with a scoop about what the governor planned to do instead of waiting two hours to get their story right. The story was incomplete, but the Tribune’s headline used the word “lockdown.” Stores were quickly flooded with people. Inexcusable.

* And then even after the governor’s executive order was released, some media outlets continued using that word…


A totally irresponsible headline intended to drive clicks and make money from inciting panic. It’s a free country and they can do whatever they want. But that means I can also do whatever I want and I choose to call them out. Stop this nonsense before people get hurt.

* This also isn’t a “shelter in place” order, as the PJ Star’s current headline also reads as well as at several other media outlets. That’s for hurricanes and such. From FEMA

Being prepared for shelter-in-place includes ensuring that the family or individual has a specified shelter-in-place location. When sheltering-in-place, individuals should ensure they have enough water, non-perishable food, blankets, communication equipment (such as radios), alternate power sources (including fuel for generators, first aid supplies, necessary medications, and durable medical equipment [e.g., wheelchairs, canes, and hearing aids] and consumable medical equipment [e.g., medical device batteries, catheters, and wound dressings]) to allow self-sustainment in that location for a minimum of 72 hours and a maximum of 14 days. The family or individual should plan to keep a well-stocked emergency kit available at home, at work, and in the car, to meet all contingencies.

Nobody has been ordered to do anything like that unless they’ve tested positive. And even then, many of those items above do not apply.

* Illinois’ order simply requires you to stay at home unless you need essentials or are performing essential work. And the list of exemptions is really long. So, click here and here if you want to know what you can and cannot do.

Ben Bradley is exactly right and sets the proper tone…


* Anyway, one of their headline writers may be horrible, but the Tribune is doing a fantastic job of updating readers with their live coverage. Here are some headlines from that page, which you should most definitely bookmark and visit often

Chicago TV shows donate masks, other props for coronavirus treatment: Their doctors may be fake, but it turns out hospital procedurals like “Chicago Med,” “The Resident” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” are awash in authentic medical gear.

CTA bus driver has tested positive for coronavirus, officials say

COVID-19 is having a major impact on Chicago orgs assisting those in need. Here’s how you can help.

Saturday morning content: Keep having that quarantine sex, Chicago.

Coronavirus is keeping people away from animal shelters, so volunteers are needed immediately to foster pets.

‘We feel like we’re in this alone’: Nurses treating coronavirus patients plead for more protective gear

Grocers, delivery services scramble to hire thousands of workers to help with a crush of business driven by the coronavirus

You can order your craft beer for delivery in Illinois, says liquor commission

* Sun-Times

Illinois cannabis tax revenues that were earmarked for the state’s rainy day fund will now be used to help rural pharmacies in Illinois as the state grapples with the coronavirus outbreak.

The Illinois Comptroller’s office announced Friday that rural and small-town pharmacies being “squeezed” by low reimbursements will receive a combined $946,000 in payments from the state this week.

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza said her office is using cannabis revenues to give the 80 pharmacies servicing rural communities throughout Illinois their payments ahead of schedule.

“Our ongoing effort to support rural pharmacies that are being squeezed out by unfair competition and managed care policies now takes on added importance as communities fight the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus,” Mendoza said in a statement.

* Here’s Gov. JB Pritzker at Thursday’s White House video teleconference with the nation’s governors

Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, this is Governor J.B. Pritzker from Illinois. I wanted to first express my gratitude to your staffs and to other working in the administration who we’ve interacted with. They’ve really done yeoman work in being responsive to us. And thank you, Mr. Vice President, for returning calls to us as we needed more help with answers to questions about testing. And, actually, that’s why I wanted to ask a question today.

We understand that there is drive-through testing that’s being stood up across the country. We hope to see it in Illinois — drive-through testing that the federal government has arranged. But we understand that there are only about 5,000 tests that will provided to us in Illinois for these drive-through tests — testing centers. And then there is no more promise after that. And so I wanted to try to understand what — if stand them up, what will happen? That — that’s perhaps, you know, a day or two days of testing. Obviously, that’s on top of the testing we already have now. But what will happen after the 5,000 run out? How will we get more?

* Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D., the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, responded

And to be very clear, we gave the initial allocation based on what your state told us, but we want you to work through your FEMA system. We have plenty of tests on the back side. We have plenty of supplies on the front side. Work through your FEMA administrator to give your requirements and we will bring those back through the FEMA system to meet them.

There’s been great demand and great enthusiasm among the states for these drive-through centers, primarily for healthcare workers and we want to support you. We can certainly provide more than 5,000, but we didn’t want to give away so much at the beginning until everyone got set up.

That answer was interpreted by one of my subscribers as saying we only got 5,000 tests for drive-throughs because that’s all we asked for and that Pritzker should’ve asked for more. But, clearly, the admiral said the amount of tests were limited “until everyone got set up.”

* Even so I wondered why Illinois only asked for 5,000 tests. Here’s Jordan Abudayyeh…

Our team asked the federal government for 5000 tests because that was the maximum number of tests they offered.

OK, that makes sense. Illinois asked for the maximum.

Abudayyeh continued…

Since the very beginning of this crisis, our administration has demanded our partners at the federal level step up and assist us in our mission to save lives. Because the federal government has been unreliable and slow to act, members of our team are working every avenue in the supply chain to purchase more tests and personal protection equipment for our healthcare workers. What we’ve found is that the federal government has commandeered most of the supply chain and has yet to produce results for states asking for more supplies. Every time a member of this administration gets on the phone with anyone at the federal level we ask for more tests, so if they have more, like they claim, we look forward to our shipment arriving as soon as possible. As of right now, we haven’t seen them deliver on their promises.

Yikes.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

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