Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Pritzker talks about hospitalization numbers, Downstate infection rates - “Of the top five counties by infection rate, two of them are downstate” - Pritzker apologizes for claim about dentists - Explains that testing has moved us up the list of most cases - Responds to Trump tweet - Says federal government offered more help with testing - Asked about pension reform - Asked whether it was time to lay off workers and if state workers are actually working - Asked about conventions and large gatherings - Says phone lines at IDES still a big problem - Explains why he’s not following Ohio’s lead - Explains how 14-day decline is defined - Watching meat industry, but doesn’t yet believe a meat shortage is imminent - Refuses to undermine Lightfoot on boating ban - Explains death rate - R0 still above 1 - Working with legislators on workers’ comp changes - Says Pence says Trump still wants to help state and local governments - Will ask GA to expand mail-in balloting
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Pritzker talks about hospitalization numbers, Downstate infection rates - “Of the top five counties by infection rate, two of them are downstate” - Pritzker apologizes for claim about dentists - Explains that testing has moved us up the list of most cases - Responds to Trump tweet - Says federal government offered more help with testing - Asked about pension reform - Asked whether it was time to lay off workers and if state workers are actually working - Asked about conventions and large gatherings - Says phone lines at IDES still a big problem - Explains why he’s not following Ohio’s lead - Explains how 14-day decline is defined - Watching meat industry, but doesn’t yet believe a meat shortage is imminent - Refuses to undermine Lightfoot on boating ban - Explains death rate - R0 still above 1 - Working with legislators on workers’ comp changes - Says Pence says Trump still wants to help state and local governments - Will ask GA to expand mail-in balloting

Monday, Apr 27, 2020 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Gov. Pritzker began his press conference by listing statistics. He also plans to talk about regionalization today. Please pardon all transcription errors…

On April 6, we had 3680 COVID patients in our hospitals. On April 10 that number had risen to 4020. On April 14, that number had risen to 4283. On April 19 the number had risen to 4599. And as of midnight last night, the number was 4672, an increase of 73 Illinoisans in one week’s time. To remind you these hospitalization numbers include both COVID-19 patients and assumed COVID-19 patients in the hospital in any condition, whether mild or serious.

I’ll offer the same time series progression for our COVID occupied ICU beds as I did for overall hospitalization rates. Remember, our institutions have worked to expand their bed capacity, which is why our overall bed numbers and ICU bed capacity, have increased. On April 6 COVID patients occupied 43% of our 2700 ICU beds in Illinois. On April 10, it was 40% of 2900 ICU beds. On April 14 40% of 3000 ICU beds, and on April 19 40% of 3100 ICU beds, and as of midnight last night. 34% of 3600 ICU beds.

We also keep an eye trained on the number of Illinoisans with COVID-19, who are on ventilators, even as our medical professionals work to innovate ways to help patients, avoid this very difficult though potentially life saving measure of the 4672 Illinoisans in the hospital. 763 are on ventilators. That means 23% of our total ventilator inventory is currently in use by COVID-19 patients, the same ratio as it was on April 19 one week ago. That’s following a downward trend from 29% on April 6, then 27% on April 10 than 25% on April 14.

* Now on to the folks who think they’re safe…

I want to stop and take a moment now to address those who think that coronavirus is just a Chicago or a Cook County problem and that downstate Illinois is immune or doesn’t need restrictions. Folks that’s just not how this virus operates.

COVID-19 knows no county or regional boundaries. It’s clear that some people are simply looking at the number of cases in a county and not looking at the infection rate.

Of the top five counties by infection rate, two of them are downstate. In order, that’s Cook County, Jasper, Lake, Will and Randolph Even more troubling, COVID-19 has played a role in the deaths of Illinoisans in 42 of our counties around the state. With the top two rates of death per capita being in Jasper County and Monroe County.

That means you’re more likely to die of COVID-19 if you live in either of those two counties than if you live in Chicago or in Cook County.

* More on regionalization…

When these factors are taken into account, the overall picture around COVID-19 in Illinois is quite different than many have assumed. Yes, in terms of total case numbers and total lives lost Cook and the collar counties constitute the largest segment of COVID-19 known presence in Illinois. That’s indisputable. But it would be doing a massive disservice to our downstate residents if we governed only by raw numbers, no matter where you live. I want you to be healthy and safe and following the advice of the scientists and experts is what has kept people in every region of our state alive.

It’s true that there are a much larger number of cases and deaths in the metropolitan region around Chicago, but it’s also home to nearly two of every three Illinoisans, and it’s home too much of the overall hospital capacity that’s needed if there’s another surge of the virus.

It’s also true that there are areas of the state that have lower infection rates, and I’ve already begun opening those areas up more with allowance for more elective surgeries and recreational activity there than in other regions.

* Talks about outreach…

Every week I call Republican and Democratic mayors and legislators to hear their best ideas and talk through how I’m thinking through the decisions that need to be made.

Some really good ideas have come from those calls. We don’t always agree but it’s always a two way dialogue.

I understand that the choices that I’ve made and that I have had to make aren’t easy. And there are some that disagree with them. But I’ve made each decision with a laser like focus on the health and safety of every resident, and with a strong desire to get us back to work and school. As soon as it’s safe, frankly, the decisions have, most often been very difficult. Often choosing between saving lives and saving livelihoods. But thousands of Illinoisans are still with us today because nearly all of your earnest effort to follow our stay at home order. And so that’s a decision that I’m extraordinarily proud to have made.

And I’m going to keep making my decisions about defeating this terrible virus by focusing on the most important factors. Following the science, monitoring and building up our healthcare systems, listening to local leaders and keeping Illinois families and workers top of mind, all in an effort to do the right thing for all of Illinois.

* The governor said he wanted to clear up something he said over the weekend about dentists…

Our executive order did not close dental offices, but IDPH has issued guidance to dentists, focusing their work on more emergency procedures. That guidance remains in place. Dental procedures are high risk for dentists and for their staff, and we’re going to continue working with the medical experts as we move forward. But right now, dental procedures should be limited to urgent health issues and emergencies, and I apologize for any confusion that my comments may have caused.

* On to questions for the governor. We have moved to number four in the number of when you list states. And we are not number four in population. What do you think what’s going on, is it that just we’re testing more? How did we surpass California?…

Yeah, notice that our testing numbers have gone way up right oh just over the last week. We’ve averaged more than 10,000 per day. And that’s significantly up from where we were before. And if you look at most states, they’re not testing anywhere near as much as we are now. So, actually it’s a point of some pride, what we’ve done on testing. But if you test more people, as we’ve said, there are lots and lots of people out there who do not know that they have Coronavirus, because they haven’t been tested as you test more people, you’re going to get more positive cases.

* President Trump tweeted this morning, why should the people and taxpayers bail out poorly run states, like, Illinois…

Well I have two things that I would say to that. One is that as you know we are a donor state to the federal government. We pay more in federal taxes in Illinois than we get back from the federal government. And so actually the states who are being bailed out every year year in and year out are the states who take more out of the Federal dole than they put in. […]

That’s one thing I would say, the other is that unlike Donald Trump we proposed and passed and have effectuated a balanced budget for the year that we’re in. Had it not been for coronavirus, we would have had actually a surplus in the state of Illinois. So to the extent that we’re talking about and we are about the federal government providing funding for states, all states need it now because coronavirus COVID-19 has blown a hole in every state budget all across the nation. There’s not a single state that would not benefit from, or that does not need support from another CARES Act package.

* Were you on the call today from the White House, and any new insight?…

I wouldn’t say there’s any new insight there’s more talk about testing, and the federal government offering help with testing which is terrific. They have offered help before and I’m looking forward to our ability to obtain more swabs and more reagent and VTM through the federal government as they are promising.

* My colleague Craig Wall wants to know is it time to consider pension reform…

Well, as you know, we did make some pension reforms we as you know the police and fire pensions across the state were dramatically reformed this last year under my leadership and working with the legislature.

We certainly need to keep working on our pensions. You know I’ve said as principles here that we need to make sure that people who are owed a pension are paid the pension that they’re owed. And I want to make sure that people understand how important it is that we support our seniors when they’ve worked a lifetime for that pension, whether they’re police officers or firefighters or state workers in any way. So, I continue to believe in the idea of supporting seniors when they retire. So, we’ll continue to look at the ways we proposed several ways last year that weren’t yet adopted to make changes in the pension system and we’ll continue to look at everything and anything

* Others are asking, perhaps is it time to lay off some state workers? Are those who are supposedly working from home, really working from home? And when there is not as much to do, perhaps they should get unemployment as well instead of getting paid by the state for doing nothing?…

Well, certainly, number one we’ve asked people to stay home, number two we have actually done quite a lot to make sure that people can work from home, and you know all these departments, think about what’s happening in IDES, think about what’s happening at the Department of Human Services, right in this pandemic. And with so many people laid off right, we have our state needs to function well. And so we’re working with stay at home employees who are connected now, and have the ability to work for and with residents of the state who badly need them.

* He was asked a question about staggered school weeks. He said it was up to ISBE, IBHE and the community college board. He was then asked about conventions and gatherings of thousands of people…

Look, I don’t know. It seems to me that we don’t yet even have a treatment. So I don’t know that people will even want to go to events like that and be in the midst of thousands of people. Because the idea that there’s some percentage likelihood that you may contract COVID-19 by attending an event like that might keep people away. So I’m not going to dictate anything and we have a stay at home order from now until May 30. We’re making plans for the phase dreopening of the economy.

It’s unclear to me about large gatherings, those seem like harder things to get done than for example opening manufacturing facilities where you could be able to keep people six feet apart wearing PPE and make sure the lunch rooms are not crowded and so on. These are things that we’ve looked at and are continuing to look at, to make sure that we’re doing it right in in a phased fashion but as to whether a large convention could fit into an early phase, I don’t know.

* He was asked again about baseball, particularly about playing games without fans. Pritzker said that would likely be up to MLB. For Dr. Ezike: How many have died from COVID-19 that do not have any other underlying health condition?…

Nationally, the numbers are vanishingly small, less than 10% I think I saw something like 6% and that might have been a global number, so in the general statistics, Illinois has been similar to what the aggregate larger numbers have so I would say that it’s going to be definitely under 10% maybe even in the single digits.

* People who are getting nowhere on the [unemployment application] system, they’re frustrated they can’t get an answer. They’re broke. A week ago you announced there would be some more help or answers to this. What are you telling the folks who cannot find out what to do about unemployment?…

Well the first thing I would say is that we’ve processed nearly, more or in the neighborhood of 800,000 unemployment applications at this point, it’s about 10 times every day what was being done last year at this time. So, it’s a significant effort that’s been put into making the system easier for people to get through.

Now, I think the problem, to be clear, has been the phone lines there. Remember I said a little while ago, that you have to have trained personnel, and this training is for a trained personnel that are answering the lines, because the information is private information. And so people have to be trained to handle that properly. There is a federal guideline for that training and that training takes longer than the time that we have to handle something within a week for example so we’re working very expeditiously to try to ramp all that up.

But I just want to remind you that virtually every state is having trouble managing the influx of unemployment applications. We are working night and day. I watch those numbers every day, I see how many are coming in over the internet, how many are coming in by phone, and the increase of numbers of people who get their phone calls answered. Again, I can’t, you know we can’t fix this overnight it’s absolutely true. But we are fixing it and it has been radically better over time.

* Ohio, which is part of the regional coalition with Illinois, is announcing plans to reopen segments of the economy starting Friday. Will this impact what happens in Illinois? And what’s the point of a coalition if the states are acting independently on such important decisions?…

Well, you have to remember that every state has a slightly different curve. And so decisions about timing are different than decisions about what might open.

The other thing is that this is a council in part of governors who share ideas with one another about how best to go about the opening. So, remember we are still climbing on our curve and I just talked to you about how that’s a slowing climb, which is a good thing, but we are still on this side of the peak, and I’m hoping there’s not a plateau.

I haven’t looked at the numbers for Ohio but obviously Governor Dewine is seeing something different in Ohio if he feels like Friday is a good day for them to begin to discuss and talk about how often and what’s you know what kind of insight did they give you. We’ve had calls. And we’re sharing the kind of commonalities, what are you doing about manufacturing, what are you doing about warehousing, how are you handling those things within your state. Those are things that are very important that that we share in common with states, and therefore, each of us offering ideas for one another.

One of the important topics the last time we were on the phone together was how is everybody working to provide support for our smallest small businesses, many of whom can’t access the PPP money, because they don’t have lawyers and accountants and so on. And so, listening to how each state, by the way, Illinois has solutions for that that we’ve implemented. You know, having limited state resources for all these states makes it harder, but we’re all doing slightly different but important things to lift up. I’m particularly interested in these because these smallest businesses are the ones that create the most jobs. And so, I’m the one who’s asked that question of my colleagues

* Once we reached our peak, is the 14-day decline based on the number of hospital beds in use ICU patients, or the percentage of new cases?…

Remember the whole idea here, the aim is to make sure that we’re not going to overwhelm our hospitals and our healthcare system in general so that’s how we choose one of those statistics we’re watching.

It’s very important the question of hospitalizations, are we going down the other side of that, are we going down the other side of ICU, and are we continuing to go down the other side of ventilators. Because right now ventilators, we’ve increased the number of ventilators, and it appears that the number of people on ventilators roughly speaking has leveled. And so I expect that to be one of the first things that goes down, in part because doctors have done such a good job of keeping people off of ventilators and having them recover without going on them.

So those are the things, hospitalizations I see us those are certainly things that we look at that are very important for making a decision on the other side of the peak. Remember, the peak I’m hopeful that the peak is actually a peak, and that not as we’ve seen in some other states, a plateau.

* He was asked again if hospitals were getting more money for treating COVID-19 patients. He said it could be in the federal CARES Act, but he didn’t know.

* Are you concerned about the meat shortage that might happen?…

Well, concerned in the sense that we’re monitoring it closely our Department of Agriculture, our Department of Public Health, our local county departments of public health. We’re all paying very close attention to those meat producers and processors. But I don’t currently believe that we are going to have a problem with our supply chain, but again we’re watching it very closely.

* He was asked again about boating on Lake Michigan and again said that this was a local decision and therefore up to people like Mayor Lightfoot, who doesn’t want to allow it.

* How many IDOC prisoners have been released through medical furlough and how many had been granted commutations or clemency due to COVID concerns? Why haven’t lawmakers who have requested information about criteria for releases received answers?…

We’ll be happy to provide information to anyone. I don’t have the numbers right here, but happy to I can tell you that we’ve overall reduced the population in our prisons by, I know it’s more than 1300. Overall, many of those were near the end of their terms are actually their sentences were up, but also many of them were under this program of either medical furloughs due to COVID-19 or other reasons pardons or commutations on my part.

* Iceland has done the most COVID-19 testing per capita in the world, and as a result has a very low death rate. Of course Iceland is very different from the US in a lot of ways, but is it possible that if Illinois caught up on testing our death rate wouldn’t actually be the current 4.5% and would actually be much lower? What is the death rate that’s being assumed in the modeling beliefs on Thursday that was used to show that at the current stay at home water restrictions were loosened 20,000 or so people would die in a second wave?…

[Pritzker talked about the importance of testing and then said] I’d like to just disabuse anybody of the notion of a 4.5% death rate. The fact is that if you look internationally and in the United States, it is presumed that there is about a 1%, a little less than 1%, of people who get COVID-19 who pass away from it. The 4.5% that you’re calculating is just the cases that we’ve been able to identify, by virtue of the limited testing that we’ve had available. So it is a much lower rate than than 4.5% we assume.

* Do you believe Illinois has reached its peak what is the current R0?…

Dr. Ezike: As the governor has said, we are growing so slowly in the numbers in terms of the rate of rise that we think we are coming upon it very shortly. So again, not being able to predict whether we will just continually increment versus we’re going to hit it in a few days and start coming down, versus like he said he’s hoping not to have a plateau but there’s a potential for just staying at a level number for an extended period of time. We don’t know when we’re off the peak and heading down until we are, unfortunately. And so the models and the predictions can only do so much. But it’s actually going to be the data that will tell us when we’ve reached.

There is another part of the question, what is our current R0. The last time we looked at it it was one point, I think 1.4. And so I should be getting some updated numbers this week.

* When does the Illinois legislature need to meet to begin to make its own decisions about the budget, and when the legislature is in next what sort of protections will you ask for, and for which classes of workers in light of the workers compensation commission today rescinding the rebuttal presumption of the COVID-19 rule?…

It’s up to the legislature. There’s no requirement terms for the budget by May 31. If the legislature votes on a budget it needs to have a simple majority to approve a budget.

After May 31, it’s a super majority vote for a budget. So again that’s whenever the legislature decides to meet and, you know, given the circumstances and they are considered essential workers so they’ll be able to figure it out. It is quite complex though as you may know, between staff and 177 Senators and House members, yo organizing all of that in the Capitol building or really anywhere else is quite complex and I think that’s taking some time. […]

[We are] having discussions that are proposals by legislators about things that that we should do [on workers comp] to protect our workers as best we can during this pandemic. And so I’ll be very supportive of measures that will keep them safe.

* What will the impact be if Illinois does not get any federal aid to make up for the loss of revenue amid the pandemic? And do you think your criticism of the President has substantially reduced your chance of getting that aid?…

First of all, if we don’t get any further federal aidit will be extremely difficult, not just for the state of Illinois but for many states, not just for the ones that have Democratic governors but for Republican states as well.

So I know that the President has said that he’s in favor, despite a tweet today, he’s in favor of support for the state for state and local governments. I would like to make sure that the smaller local governments receive support in this next bill, not just the large counties are large cities over 500,000, but small towns, all across the state of Illinois and all across the nation should get support.

So I’m in favor of that and I think the President is in favor of that and indeed, Vice President Pence in our call yesterday reiterated that fact that the President is supportive of that, so I feel pretty good about where they are on it. Obviously, it’s Senator McConnell that is an obstacle here and considering that he comes from a state that gets more money from the federal government than it gives in federal taxes, he’s a recipient state of a lot of support from the federal government.

* He was asked a question about a local nursing home and was then asked about Rep. Bailey’s lawsuit. Click here for that answer.

* What is the state doing now or what does it plan to do to prepare for the November election, and how is it ramping up mail-in voting?…

So, as you know there is some federal funding available to support changes in our elections, so that we can make sure that people have the ability to vote, even in the presence of coronavirus.

Our intention, my intention at the moment is to ask the legislature to expand mail balloting I think that having everybody giving everybody the ability to vote by mail, much more easily makes the most sense to me as a way to prevent people from contracting coronavirus. And so I will be asking the legislature to do that and then of course the Illinois Board of Elections has been thinking about this and preparing for it for some time. And we look forward to working with them, advising them and and making sure the legislature gives them whatever they need in order to effectuate more mail-in ballots.



  1. - Norseman - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 2:50 pm:

    A recurring issue for downstate was the availability of health care. For years legislators on both sides of the aisle were constantly trying to maintain services in their communities. Evidently, the GOP having become the predominant party in rural Illinois have forgotten that problem. Yes, rural areas will not get smashed with cases, but they are less capable of responding. Oh, silly me. I forget, the GOP is simply following the extreme conservative mantra and not the needs of their constituents.

  2. - Former Local Prosecutor - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 3:06 pm:

    didn’t that balanced budget include the sale of the Thompson Center?

  3. - SSL - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 3:07 pm:

    Mary Ann sounds like an angry prosecutor. I wouldn’t want to have her grilling me.

  4. - Cool Papa Bell - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 3:09 pm:

    Very interesting numbers out of prisons in the midwest and how many people were/are actually sick and how many would up ill.

  5. - Nick - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 3:09 pm:

    I swear to god why are there so many questions about boating on lake michigan

    This is even less relevant than questions about golfing

  6. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 3:10 pm:

    “Others are asking, perhaps is it time to lay off some state workers?“

    Lol, who, the IPI, Center Square, WIND, Trib editorial board and other members of the super-minority?

  7. - PublicServant - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 3:14 pm:

    === why are there so many questions about boating on lake michigan ===

    Because after a grueling round of 18 holes, one needs, absolutely needs time to sip a martini, shaken, not stirred, on one’s yacht. We’re not savages after all. /s

  8. - Arock - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 3:14 pm:

    That is how Fair Tax work, the rich pay more in taxes and get less back to happily support those that can’t pay as much in taxes, so you should be a happy contributor to the other less fortunate states that can’t pay higher taxes.

  9. - Nuke The Whales - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 3:14 pm:

    Just take a guess in which State House district is the entirety of Jasper County located?

    Of course it’s Darren Bailey whose next speech will probably be about tort reform.

  10. - Give Me A Break - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 3:15 pm:

    Yes, if we just cut the pensions of state workers and lay off them, tomorrow we will all be healthy and the economy will come roaring back.

  11. - PrairieChicken - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 3:23 pm:

    The infection rate numbers are going to be revealed to be WAY off, probably by a factor of TEN or more. The NY study of antibodies showed that 13.9% of the people sampled had antibodies, although the tests for that are still somewhat doubtful. Similarly, a sample of 10,000 people in the Netherlands who had given blood showed that 3% had antibodies which was only 1/15th of the percentage of the population with confirmed cases that was being reported at that time. So you can put another zero behind the number of cases at any given time.

    This is a Good News, Bad News kind of thing. It means that the mortality rate may only be between .06 and .5 instead of the 2% and higher as supposed up to now. However, it also means that there are a lot more people walking around potentially with a transmissible infection. It is still not known if people who have recovered have immunity or are still carriers.

    Trying to open the state, even in stages, is going to be extremely problematic as the infection rate will undoubtedly go up. Then with more testing becoming available, we will see the true percentage of infections start to be reflected, which will freak people out.

    You can say goodbye to this year’s baseball season and probably football too.

  12. - Winderweezle - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 3:25 pm:

    Sorry about the dumb question-

    Why do most of the press conference transcriptions usually end with -30-?

    Just curious and haven’t been able to figure it out on my own.

  13. - Trapped in the ‘burbs - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 3:25 pm:

    For those that complain about Pritzker’s decisions during this
    crisis, what would Rauner have done?

  14. - the Patriot - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 3:42 pm:

    talking about down state as if 95 counties hundreds of miles apart are one thing really commits to his ignorance anything south of I80.

    In fairness a better question would have been 45 days ago and ask why shut down areas 30 days before they have a case?

    Is part of his reasoning in not doing a more regionalized approach is the lack of positive cases is from a lack of testing. But then he has to answer for his decision to not test rural counties.

    When you live 30 miles from MO and KY the siphon is about to open up on the economy even more than usual. What are the plans to stop that and to stop the virus from coming in from the clearly irrational neighboring states?

  15. - Lt Guv - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 3:46 pm:


    Indicates the end of a press release in the style guide most commonly used in the Midwest.

  16. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 3:48 pm:

    === That is how Fair Tax work, the rich pay more in taxes and get less back to happily support those that can’t pay as much in taxes,===
    And Illinois has been doing that. For decades. And now our revenue sources have dried up with many Covid-19 cases. So like the rich people who pay the Fair Tax who lose their jobs, now the others can pony up.

  17. - Dave W - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 3:48 pm:

    Comparing Monroe county to Cook is just intellectually dishonest. They had an outbreak at a nursing home in Monroe that has accounted for all of the deaths there.

  18. - snowman61 - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 4:01 pm:

    I understand the need for stay at home and following it in lake county. However, my mind is beginning to wonder. I’m wondering if we can figure out the number of positive tests per county that are due to nursing homes, group homes, prisons, and first responders and regular people? The reason I ask is that are the non metro areas with high positive tests due to these clusters or worst, from regular contact. Sounds like a project for me tonight.

  19. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 4:05 pm:

    The unsettling fact about Covid 19 is how many people one carrier can infect out of a crowd. One can go to 100 too quickly.

    I don’t see how we can limit transmission while allowing large groups.

  20. - Birds on the Bat - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 4:16 pm:

    what would Rauner have done?

    For the love of God, LET IT GO ALREADY

  21. - A Jack - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 4:26 pm:

    I understand what the Governor is trying to do with comparing downstate with Cook. But as others have stated, its an apples to oranges comparison. In Jasper, 26 of the 42 infections were in a senior care facility. And in Randolph, most of the infections where traced back to a pre-stay-at-home gathering which was likely a St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

    I think Pritzker is doing a good job, but he should be more careful in his comparisons.

  22. - Anannymiss - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 4:33 pm:

    The Federal government does not tax states, it taxes individual earners within each state via the income tax. Is Illinois fortunate to have more high-earning individuals than, say, Kentucky? Absolutely. The idea of “giver” and “taker” states is a fallacy, lower-income individuals benefit from the higher taxation of higher-income individuals, which is at the heart of the idea of the progressive tax amendment we’ll be voting on this fall. So why does it become a negative when it is done at the federal level?

  23. - Jibba - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 4:42 pm:

    == In Jasper, 26 of the 42 infections were in a senior care facility===

    How do you think it got to the senior care facility? One of the remaining infected 16 people in Jasper Co happened to work there? Clearly, many more than 42 are infected and it is spreading through community transmission. Opening up will give the virus free reign to spread further. I care about Jasper County as much as Cook, and want them to be safe.

  24. - Odysseus - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 5:10 pm:

    “So why does it become a negative when it is done at the federal level?”

    It becomes a negative when ignorant politicians describe that relationship backwards.

    If you’re going to use the rhetoric of makers and takers, you better know which camp you are really in. Republican hypocrisy on this point is really galling.

  25. - Baby bear - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 5:13 pm:

    Then lock down senior facilities so the rest of us can get to work. I swear most of you on the government payroll really are detached from reality.

  26. - Morty - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 5:34 pm:

    Then lock down senior facilities so the rest of us can get to work. I swear most of you on the government payroll really are detached from reality.

    Beautiful, caring sentiments

  27. - Norseman - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 6:04 pm:

    === Then lock down senior facilities so the rest of us can get to work. ===

    Who is detached from reality?

    Why don’t you read the releases that have the ages of the deaths. Not to mention those who became severely ill.

  28. - A Jack - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 6:06 pm:

    @Jibba, when the Governor uses an easily refutable example, he does not help his cause and opens himself up to criticism from those like Judge McHaney. It is more creditable for him to stick to population density as a key element of virus transmission rather than on a county level.

  29. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 6:13 pm:

    === Then lock down senior facilities so the rest of us can get to work. I swear most of you on the government payroll really are detached from reality.===
    About that detached from reality thing:
    You are aware that people work at senior facilities? It’s very labor intensive work, people work there 3 shifts 7 days a week. There is no “lockdown” that doesn’t affect the community at large.

  30. - thoughts matter - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 8:27 pm:

    My parents are in a senior care facility, the residents are locked down. No visitors for any reason. No leaving the facility for any reason. Eating in their rooms because the dining hall is not suitable for social distancing. No activities for the same reason Family doing their grocery shopping, dropping it off outside the front door of the building. The staff takes it inside, wipes it off, and delivers it. If the resident has no one to shop, then the staff does it. You think you are locked down? Do that.
    In addition. The staff does not live on site. They get checked every shift for symptoms. Ever hear of asymptomatic transmission? Think the staff has family? Think the staff has to go grocery shopping and get gas, etc?

  31. - thoughts matter - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 9:18 pm:

    To the reporter that accused state workers working from home of not working? State workers work just as hard as The private sector in equivalent jobs. How do you know private sector office workers that work from home are actually working? You monitor their productivity. You schedule conference calls and ask them to touch base throughout the day. Just as someone is doing with you. Just as the state is doing with its employees.
    Your assumption is part of the reason that state workers have not been allowed to work from home until now. I’m insulted that just because I have state employee on my badge that you think I’m automatically less productive than you. Either offer up some proof or apologize.

  32. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Monday, Apr 27, 20 @ 9:51 pm:

    =He was asked again about boating on Lake Michigan and again said that this was a local decision and therefore up to people like Mayor Lightfoot, who doesn’t want to allow it.=

    The Mayor doesn’t want to open the harbors? Why?

  33. - What gives? - Tuesday, Apr 28, 20 @ 9:05 am:

    There are only seven counties “downstate” from me. Madison and Randolph are “upstate” from where I am. Can we please stop using this term?

  34. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Tuesday, Apr 28, 20 @ 9:06 am:

    === Comparing Monroe county to Cook is just intellectually dishonest. They had an outbreak at a nursing home in Monroe that has accounted for all of the deaths there.===

    How is that “intellectually dishonest”? That is where there are the most outbreaks everywhere, including Cook. Nursing homes, slaughter houses, places where people can’t distance from each other well.

  35. - StatsMan - Thursday, Apr 30, 20 @ 1:13 pm:

    It’s intellectually dishonest to compare Monroe County to Cook because it makes no sense to compare counties with 32,000 people to counties with 5,000,000. Cook County has 156 times as many people as Monroe County; it’s easier (about 156 times easier) for a small number of deaths in Monroe County to shift the per-capita numbers.
    You should compare like to likes. The sensible question to ask is how is Monroe County doing relative to other 32,000 people groups in Illinois, not how it compare to 5 million people groups.

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