Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Pritzker says POTUS approved major disaster declaration request - Scolds people who congregate outside - Unemployment has dropped one in four households below $50,000 - 450 people returning to healthcare service - Penny Pritzker heads up new relief fund - Talks about Trump - Addresses UI problems - Hopes for more stimulus bills - No “do not resuscitate order” under consideration - Has contributed $4 million to relief fund
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Pritzker says POTUS approved major disaster declaration request - Scolds people who congregate outside - Unemployment has dropped one in four households below $50,000 - 450 people returning to healthcare service - Penny Pritzker heads up new relief fund - Talks about Trump - Addresses UI problems - Hopes for more stimulus bills - No “do not resuscitate order” under consideration - Has contributed $4 million to relief fund

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020

* Gov. Pritzker formally announced that President Trump has approved Illinois’ federal disaster declaration request

Earlier today, we received word that my request to the President for a federal major disaster declaration for Illinois has been approved.

This declaration will provide emergency funding to increase hospital and housing capacity as we respond to this unprecedented health crisis. This declaration also provides resources to expand telehealth, allowing us to safely reach more Illinoisans in need of care.

My administration is also seeking a another debt disaster declaration for all 102 counties of Illinois, which would allow us to access FEMA has individual assistance program. This would give us resources like more unemployment benefits for those not currently eligible for state unemployment insurance, enhanced benefits for those seeking shelter, food and emergency supplies, new legal services and financial assistance to our under insured households.

* He also went on a long tirade about yesterday’s crowds. Here’s part of it…

This virus doesn’t care that you’re bored. And that you want to hang out with your friends. It doesn’t care that you don’t believe that it’s dangerous. The virus could care less if you think that I’m overreacting. It has infected infants. It has killed people in their 20s and 30s and 40s. It has forced doctors around the world to make terrible decisions about who will live and who will die.

Again, pardon all typos.

* Unemployment claims this week broke the previous single week record, nearly five times over, the governor said…

We’ve got surveys reflecting that one in five American households have seen a reduction in work hours or layoffs, dropping one in four households below $50,000 income. And that information was collected a week ago, amid circumstances that are truly evolving by the hour events that once seemed unimaginable have quickly become a daily reality.

* Heartening news…

Since I put out the call for retired and former healthcare workers to rejoin the healthcare workforce to staff our hospitals and our health care centers statewide, 450 Illinoisans have submitted applications to do just that and more are doing so even now

* Press release…

Governor JB Pritzker joined the United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations today to announce the launch of the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund (ICRF), a new statewide fundraising effort to support nonprofit organizations serving those whose lives have been upended by this pandemic. […]

The ICRF is launching with nearly $23 million in initial donations. In the upcoming weeks, the steering committee will evaluate and disburse funds to the initial wave of charitable organizations serving at-need communities across the entire state. All donations and distributions will be available to the public.

The governor’s sister Penny is heading the effort. More information can be found at Ilcovidresponsefund.org.

* Penny Pritzker…

I am honored that JB asked me to chair this endeavor that we are announcing today. A new statewide fundraising effort to quickly deploy needed and critical resources and support to our state’s most vulnerable residents in the wake of this terrible pandemic. […]

Let me close by saying I am personally blown away at the nearly limitless capacity and generosity throughout our state to care for others. And that gives me hope and certitude that we will come through this crisis together.

* Sen. Dick Durbin…

The cost of the rescue package that we enacted last night is about $2.2 trillion. $2.2 trillion. That is larger than the federal budget for an entire year in domestic discretionary spending. And the programs we put together, were the highest priorities. We thought them through, we debated them, we disagreed, we came back to the table over and over again. And at the end of the day. This measure passed with a unanimous, unanimous bipartisan vote in the United States Senate. 96 to nothing. The four senators who didn’t vote two of them are facing diagnoses and two are under self quarantine at this moment. […]

The one part I will close with is near and dear to the governor’s heart is a stabilization fund. We said that there had to be help coming back to the state and local governments that have incurred great expenses, seeing problems with their budget multiplying, there had to be a helping hand from Washington. The stabilization fund was enacted, and it’s going to mean revenues coming back to the state to help it through this challenging time.

* On to questions for the governor. The president sent a letter to all governors today (click here to read it). His thoughts?…

We had a call with the president just before that letter arrived, the nation’s governors did and all I can say is that I’m concerned about the desire of the president to ignore potentially the science to try to do something that I know he’s, you know, has a desire to do, but people will die. People will get sick. We need to make sure that we’re operating on the same playbook together to save people’s lives. And of course, simultaneously we’re all thinking about how we’re going to keep the economy going during this time period and as we reach peak and beyond it.

* What’s up with the unemployment insurance claims website?…

So we’ve been working on this and I’ve spoken with our technical leads on this issue today. We had a record number of people successfully able to file their unemployment claims over 17,000, just as of about two o’clock today, which is an amazing number considering that you know they’re literally building this airplane while it’s trying to take off. So I’m very proud of the work that they’re doing. There’s still more to do, they’re going to keep working at it. I literally spoke with our Chief Information Officer for the state. This morning I called him at 830. I woke him up because he only went to bed at about four in the morning. So, unfortunately, I think I ended his sleep for the day because he’s gone to work right after I spoke with him this morning. We’re going to get this right, and we’re going to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to file for unemployment claims and we have sped up the process for people to actually receive those claims as well.

* Governor Andrew Cuomo called the Senate stimulus bill irresponsible and reckless because it doesn’t provide nearly enough money to cover his state’s revenue losses. Do you agree? Also, NY has spent $1 billion on its response. How much has Illinois spent?…

This is progress so let’s you know at least recognize a win when we see one. I think you heard Senator Durbin say so. So does more needs to be done? Yes, we are frankly doing everything in our power to get the supplies that we need the equipment that we need to expand hospital capability, ICU beds, everything that you can think of.

And frankly, it is at this moment my biggest concern is not the expenditure that we’re making to save lives. It’s, are we saving the lives are we actually bending the curve and that’s what we’re watching very closely. We’re beginning to do that. But, you know, we’ve only had five days now under stay at home.

We need to have more days under our belt before we start to see the bending of that curve further, but more needs to be done in Washington DC and I know that Senator Durbin has said that there’s likely to be potentially a relief package number four, maybe even number five

* For the IDPH Director, are you considering a statewide Do Not Resuscitate order for coronavirus patients?

No.

* The governor was asked if he’d contributed to the new relief fund…

I did personally contribute already. My wife and I contributed $2 million of our own. And then my foundation contributed $2 million.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

18 Comments
  1. - Charlie Brown - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 3:03 pm:

    Heaven’s to Betsy.

    The nonprofit sector was hanging on by a slender thread after four years of Rauner. They’ve been devestated.

    The idea that philanthropy and the nonprofit sector can effectively deliver services to those in need through a patchwork of local community foundations is delusional.

    I understand people don’t know what to do, and this might make them feel like we are doing something. But the risk is people will expect that government does not need to act, and the philanthropic sector somehow is gonna fix this all.


  2. - Fixer - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 3:28 pm:

    “… my biggest concern is not the expenditure that we’re making to save lives. It’s, are we saving the lives…” This. All day every day and twice on Sundays. I know the bill will come due eventually but this is what matters right now and in the near future. After, we will have to figure the price tag out.


  3. - NIU Grad - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 3:38 pm:

    “statewide Do Not Resuscitate order”

    Where in the world did this question even come from…yikes.


  4. - Still anon - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 3:54 pm:

    NIU Grad - some bioethics professors were quoted the other day arguing about/for a standing DNR order because it was too dangerous and/or time consuming to have a team to put on protective gear when responding to a patient coding.


  5. - MyTwoCents - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 4:02 pm:

    NIU Grade, unfortunately that question probably came from the very real discussions hospitals are having, like Northwestern as mentioned in this article:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/25/coronavirus-patients-do-not-resucitate/


  6. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 4:03 pm:

    You have a typo in the headline. I thought I’d learn a new word, but esuscitate is actually not a thing.


  7. - MG85 - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 4:16 pm:

    When this is all over, we will be able to armchair quarterback what JB did wrong and what he did right.

    That said, I try to imagine what and where our state would look like Bruce Rauner was still Governor. That thought terrifies me. I am thankful JB is our Governor and this state is better off for his bold action.


  8. - shocked - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 4:19 pm:

    Rich Miller: Criticizing bad headlines making it sound like JB lied.

    Also Rich Miller: “do not esuscitate order under consideration”….
    For the IDPH Director, are you considering a statewide Do Not Resuscitate order for coronavirus patients?
    No.”

    /s

    I need to get out of my houes


  9. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 4:25 pm:

    ===This is progress so let’s you know at least recognize a win when we see one.===

    This is, in my mind, what separates JB from other governors on both sides of the aisle. I’m really impressed by his approach to leadership.


  10. - Responsa - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 4:26 pm:

    MG85, Rich politely asked commenters a few days ago to get off the Rauner train. I mention it in case you and others missed it.


  11. - Leave a Light On George - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 4:30 pm:

    “That said, I try to imagine what and where our state would look like Bruce Rauner was still Governor”

    Do something useful with your life.

    Rich, do us all a favor and ban comments like this from now on.


  12. - Bubble Popper - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 4:46 pm:

    == Scolds people who congregate outside ==

    Except on election day. That was totally fine. Congregating inside, too.


  13. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 4:57 pm:

    The state has an $8.1 Billion backlog of unpaid bills, $23 million or even $100 million in philanthropy is not going to fix this problem.

    The governor and his staff are getting distracted.


  14. - Seats - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 6:41 pm:

    I’m surprised to hear more than 75% of households were making more than 50k


  15. - thoughts matter - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 6:54 pm:

    Gov Pritzker. Thank you.


  16. - Lynn S. - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 1:39 am:

    For the lawyers out there:

    Would a statewide DNR even be legal? From where I sit, I could see multiple judges striking it down literally 20 seconds after the director signed it. Ink probably wouldn’t even be dry.


  17. - Fly like an eagle - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 6:14 am:

    - - Rich, do us all a favor and ban comments like this from now on.- -
    Get your own blog.


  18. - Muddy trail - Friday, Mar 27, 20 @ 6:18 am:

    == I’m surprised to hear more than 75% of households were making more than 50k.==
    The median income for Illinois households is over 65k.
    https://datausa.io/profile/geo/illinois


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