* Let’s start out by stipulating that Mayor Lori Lightfoot has done a tremendous job of convincing Chicagoans to stay home. She has inspired her city like no other mayor before. Nobody could ever dispute that.
But, Lightfoot also has a habit of saying things that appear to be so rosy as to flatly contradict the evidence at hand. For instance, this is from February 26…
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday she’s “very disappointed” in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for fanning the flames of fear about the spread of the coronavirus in the United States.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, is warning Americans to start preparing now for “the expectation that this might be bad,” triggering a severe disruption in their daily lives.
Messonnier argued the question was no longer if the coronavirus will start spreading in the United States, but when.
That may require what she called, “social distancing measures” that include smaller classes or closing schools, canceling meetings and conferences and allowing employees to work from home. […]
“I will candidly tell you that I was very disappointed with the comments of the CDC yesterday and members of the Trump administration around coronavirus,” Lightfoot said.
* You’ll recall that she resisted closing schools.
And then she said this on March 23rd…
Lightfoot also said the city is OK right now with hospitals, bed counts and ventilators.
“So far, we’re fine,” Lightfoot said.
But Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite of the Army Corps of Engineers said this yesterday about the new hospital beds at McCormick Place…
“At the end of the day, though, the single biggest reason why we would come to Chicago or somewhere else is that governor feels that there’s a very, very critical requirement,” Semonite said. […]
About a week ago, Semonite said he was notified by the secretary of the Army that Pritzker was “very, very concerned about the bed shortage up here.”
A division commander, Major Gen. Mark Toy, then met with Pritzker, and construction was launched on the McCormick Place’“alternative care facility,” which is short of a full-blown hospital.
So at about the same time Lightfoot was saying “we’re fine,” the governor was frantically urging the federal government to stand up a massive field hospital in the city.
* As we discussed yesterday, Mayor Lightfoot claims the city budget is just fine, even though it’s undoubtedly not fine.
Also from yesterday…
“We prepare all year round for these kinds of emergencies. I mean, this is unprecedented, of course. But we are doing OK in terms of our stockpile of the personal protective equipment, the PPE that you hear a lot about. Ventilators, we’re in pretty good shape for now. But all of it is with a qualifier – I just don’t think the federal government has kept up its strategic stockpile, so I don’t think they have the resources and equipment to actually help us if they were so inclined.”
I just don’t think I believe the city’s PPE and ventilator stockpile is adequate.