Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Dr. Ezike upbeat about latest numbers - Pritzker says no to lump-sum budget - Dr. Ezike talks data challenges, death counts - With $240 million spent on purchases, Pritzker says state watching for fraud - Pritzker says new emergency rule will be re-tooled in 10 days - Refuses to bend to mayors - Dr. Ezike talks excess deaths - “Disgusted by the failure of so many people” to call out extremism at rallies - Will be in Springfield Wednesday - “Optimistic that we are falling from a peak” - Dr. Ezike says it will take some time to see if peak has passed - “The very definition of a blind trust is that it’s blind” - Again commits to making full pension payment - Defends decision not to cut staff - Addresses mask scam - Can’t do widespread testing without more tests - Dr. Ezike says feds urge go-slow on nursing home visits
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Dr. Ezike upbeat about latest numbers - Pritzker says no to lump-sum budget - Dr. Ezike talks data challenges, death counts - With $240 million spent on purchases, Pritzker says state watching for fraud - Pritzker says new emergency rule will be re-tooled in 10 days - Refuses to bend to mayors - Dr. Ezike talks excess deaths - “Disgusted by the failure of so many people” to call out extremism at rallies - Will be in Springfield Wednesday - “Optimistic that we are falling from a peak” - Dr. Ezike says it will take some time to see if peak has passed - “The very definition of a blind trust is that it’s blind” - Again commits to making full pension payment - Defends decision not to cut staff - Addresses mask scam - Can’t do widespread testing without more tests - Dr. Ezike says feds urge go-slow on nursing home visits

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

[Time stamp altered for Wednesday visibility.]

* Gov. Pritzker had two guests today who both stressed the importance of wearing masks and of social distancing. And then he and Dr. Ezike took questions.

Please elaborate on what exactly it means that phase three will allow limited childcare and summer programs open with IDPH approved safety guidance. Has that guidance been made available yet?…

Dr. Ezike: We will have more information to come before the end of the week, but we know there are childcare establishments that are already open now. And more and more people will be returning to work so obviously that need is pressing and more pressing as people are getting to getting ready to return to work. So, we will lay out that guidance in just a few days and we will have more childcare opportunities to address the needs of the communities as they start returning to work.

Please remember to pardon all transcription errors.

* The hospitalization numbers all appear to be the lowest since you began reporting daily data on April 12 by a considerable amount. Should we take anything from this or are we still expecting more volatility in those metrics?…

Dr. Ezike: It is great news and I’m glad that you noticed that. To fall under the 4000 for the number of people hospitalized. Obviously, it’s a continuum, people get infected, then they get sick. And if they get hospitalized, then the ICU and maybe pass on. So it is a good sign that there’s fewer people in the hospital. But we have to remember that things are going to start changing and so we will continue to follow these numbers and it’s why that we need a hard reset and can’t just jump from phase two to phase four. Because with each phase we’ve made changes and loosening things up. And so we want to make sure that these new things are coming on board that they are not resulting in a, in a number, a spike or increase. And so that’s why we will continue to watch closely. And over the next phase, another 28 days, make sure that these measures that have loosened don’t have a spike that will make us want to tap the brakes a little bit. So we’ll be watching that closely, but yes this is good news. This just solidifies these measures have been working both the stay at home, the masking both the social distancing. All of those things are effective and that’s why we’ve got numbers that are improving.

* Lawmakers will return to Springfield this week and vote on a budget based on revenue estimates from GOMB and COGFA that are now about a month old. Are there updated revenue estimates available from your office, and are you asking lawmakers for a lump sum budget in order to make cuts and spending decisions yourself, if so what can be cut?…

The answer to the latter question is no.

The answer to the former question is that there have been some adjustments, not major revenue adjustments that mentioned the other day, there’s additional spending required related to Medicaid. We believe that that some of the federal funding that will come will alleviate a little bit of that but to be honest with you, we’re including it in the budget, because we don’t know. And so, that additional spending will have to be in the budget, and therefore, you know, we’re going to have to room for it because we have to cover healthcare, especially for COVID.

* Many Illinoisans are asking for more recovery information, can you tell us what you know about recovery data and the challenges involved with trying to collect it?…

Dr. Ezike: I guess, you know, simply the interaction with the patients kind of falls off once they’re not in the hospital. And obviously there’s a good outcome if they haven’t, succumbed to the disease. So we can deduce a lot of recovery data in terms of just seeing people who are not in the hospital, and obviously subtracting the people who have unfortunately succumbed to the disease. But in terms of actually talking to all the people, it’s just been a challenge for the teams and the staff. We’re so busy with the response, but we are trying to get as much information for you. We’re definitely going to see how we can put that information on the website going forward. We have been very diligent about doing these email surveys followed up with telephone surveys, where we were talking to people, 14 days after a positive test, 21 days and 28 days, and we have consistently seen that 70 to 74% of individuals after 28 days following their positive tests have reported that they were fully recovered. So we know that people recover, we know the majority of people recover, but I know that there’s going to be some extra some extra satisfaction Illinois has actually seen raw numbers and so we, our team is working hard to get that for the people of Illinois.

* What is the number of people who have died from COVID-19, compared to the number of people who have died with COVID-19?…

Dr. Ezike: That’s a wonderful question and I know that has caused a lot of controversy, where people think well, they had a heart attack and they had heart disease. Why are you calling it COVID? Again, the way this virus works, it is working on multiple fronts causing multiple manifestations. And so even if someone had heart disease which we have established global data has established that there are some key conditions that result in more serious complications and we’ve seen that for heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We know that that’s a factor so those cardiac events may have been precipitated by the fact that COVID was involved. We know that COVID COVID-19 infection is associated with causing embolic phenomenon and [garbled] these clots that are formed in association with COVID can result in stroke, can result in heart attacks. It’s very hard to separate the respiratory illness from some of these other manifestations that also could be linked to COVID. So again, there is a reason to put them together. I know some people feel that it doesn’t make sense but even if someone you know I know there was a lot of questions around well if somebody was very elderly and they were already, maybe in hospice, we still can’t say that that COVID infection didn’t hasten the death and so it’s probably relevant, that definitely that COVID maybe had a chance to accelerate a process. So all of that, whether it’s with COVID, or directly because of COVID, we have both of those factors lumped together in terms of our COVID deaths.

* The Illinois comptroller’s reporting more than $240 million has been spent by the state on COVID related purchases. Can you describe steps taken to ensure the state wasn’t taken advantage of, and what kind of oversight there is for spending?…

This is something we’ve been deeply concerned about. We’ve been in consultation consistently, not only with the attorney general’s office in the state and the state police, but also with federal authorities to make sure that we’re following all the protocols that would be necessary to try to prevent fraud against the state. Because as you know when this first came up in March, you know I think everybody knew we had to move quickly, but we did not have the PPE that was necessary. In fact, almost no state in the United States that I’m aware of, had the PPE. And in consultation with many of the other governors, I discovered that there were a lot of folks out there that were trying to put one over on states in their procurement teams. So we put in place a number of measures I don’t want to talk about what those are. But suffice to say that that we have a variety of measures. I guess I’ll just give one which is we ask people to fill out a form to give us a lot of their prior information so that we can then go double check and triple check the veracity of that. So, lots of other things that we’re doing but. But I will tell you that there are definitely a lot of people fraudsters that are out there in the market trying to take advantage, not just to states and procurement teams, but also of individuals and businesses out there that are just all of us trying to do the right thing and you know in a in an emergency in a pandemic. You can imagine the people who are trying to take advantage, they’re pretty awful people.

* Governor what exactly do you want JCAR to do tomorrow? I’m hearing a couple of concerns about your order lasting quote five months, can you clear that up?…

The rule that we’ve put in place in emergency would only last until the end of this phase. That’s about 10 more days. And then in phase three a new rule would need to be issued. That’s the way it would work. It’s not something that would last five months.

* There are several suburban mayors who are asking you to be more flexible. The mayor of Elmhurst issued another letter today. We’re hearing the Naperville Park District is going to file a lawsuit. Of course Winnebago County says they’re going to open up next week. Is it possible that you might be more flexible because days mean a lot to folks, rather than even waiting until the 29th of May…

Well, to be clear, I am flexible and have been in a variety of ways. What’s important here though Maryanne is, you’ve got to make sure that we run this full course. This new phase and literally it’s 10 days so you know my view is that that the flexibility comes in the way that, you know, at the edges of the variety of businesses that will be reopening. Are there more things that they might be able to do? Those are things that are being considered by the industry groups that we put together with advice from the employees from the owners from the industry associations, because there’s always something at the edge that you know as governor I may not understand about a particular industry, but the experts in the industry do. And so we want to take all that into account but those are the changes or the flexibility that can take place, we really do need to stick with the timetable that we have and to follow the metrics and it’s about following those metrics for a period of time. And so we’re on track. Everybody should be I think optimistic. 10 days from now on, you know, haircuts, and manufacturing and offices and warehousing and lots of industries and jobs coming back online, and frankly I think everybody is pretty excited about it.

* WGN analyzed the total number of deaths in Illinois for January through April for the last five years, found there have been 3896, more deaths than the average, given that the state is reporting a little more than 4000 COVID related deaths. What does that tell you about the relative accuracy of the COVID count?…

Dr. Ezike: I have looked at that similar data for, I think I looked at ‘19 and ‘18, and saw that there were even additional deaths beyond the COVID deaths compared to the previous two years. What’s going on with those excess deaths. So that could suggest that there’s a, there’s an undercounting that we’ve missed some COVID deaths. If you think that we should have had the exact same numbers from the year and the prior year to this year. And so that’s postulating in terms of what we would guess is resulting in the additional deaths that we can’t account for. Again, we will not know exactly but we can just postulate.

* Do you plan to be in Springfield, and can you respond to state GOP lawmakers who say your five phase plan with 28 day intervals is extreme, and that you are abusing your executive powers by circumventing the legislative process when it comes to issuing citations to businesses who choose not to follow your plan?…

Let me start by saying that what’s extreme are lawmakers who don’t call out their fellow lawmakers who stand at rallies and call, you know, legitimate elected leaders, domestic enemies or give the home address of our US Senator and tell people to go surround their home or the many people who held Nazi symbols at those rallies that’s legitimate and frankly I’m disgusted by the failure of so many people to call that out. Mary Ann the first half of your question had me riled up on the second half. What’s the first half of the question.

* I believe besides the lawmakers feel as if they’re not having a big enough impact in the citations that you’re issuing the new citation you’re circumventing the legislative process…

The legislative process ran when they passed the Illinois Department of Public Health Act. And that Act provides for rules that if not followed would result in the potential for a citation or misdemeanor. And so that’s you know that’s simply we’re following the law that already existed. And, you know, I talked about that yesterday.

And also, will you definitely be in Springfield tomorrow?…

Yeah, that was the first half of your question. I will be in Springfield, I believe beginning midday on Thursday. So I won’t be there on Wednesday when the legislature calls itself into session. I understand I think the Senate’s calling itself at two o’clock tomorrow afternoon but I’ll be there on Thursday. [He later corrected that and said he’ll be in Springfield on Wednesday. He’d originally intended to be there Thursday, but changed his plans.]

* What should the state do to prepare for any possible lawsuits that could seek damages from the state for businesses ordered closed without due process, or just compensation?…

Well, I mean, obviously, those are, you know, those lawsuits, people have the right to go to court and sue but they won’t be successful. The law clearly allows us to put in place the orders that we put in. Look, I understand people look, were filing these lawsuits because they’re hurting and we’re hurting all over the state. All of us are being affected by COVID-19. And it’s, it’s not only affected businesses and thetemporary hopefully temporary closure of any businesses, sometimes permanent closure. The loss of jobs I mean we’re seeing it all over the country. There is everything about what we are doing in Illinois, that is focused on keeping people sick.

I know that people don’t, some people don’t want to hear that anymore… that this is about keeping people safe, but it is. And we’re doing everything we can to open up the economy and do it safely and you’ve seen a full plan. In fact, many have called that the most comprehensive plan for opening a state. We’ve been very explicit about how and what the metrics are, what we’re looking for. And again, I will aggressively pursue reopening, but not at the expense of people’s health and safety.

* You talked about the regional metrics, according to the IDPH website, hospital admissions in the Northeast region have fallen more than 30% since May. The other regions are seeing even steeper declines in hospitalizations. Is this not evidence that we have fallen from a peak?…

I am optimistic that we are falling from a peak however I want to point out that if you, if you look at all the metrics I mean they’re not all headed straight down. Some of them have sort of flattened their loading a little bit off their peak … but I’ll just say, I am optimistic. There’s no doubt about it think every day I watch those numbers like everybody else does, and and you know we keep them in chart form you can find it online and chart form. And you can see the line gradually heading in the right direction. So, you know, it feels good, it’s the right direction, but be clear that when you’re looking at these metrics you know there are a lot of them are affected by things that have happened days ago, weeks ago. So as you watch them, what you’re really seeing is a reflection of something that happened and infection perhaps that took place. weeks ago. And so you. That’s why you know it’s hard to project forward. When you look at a hospitalization number, but it is the best number in my opinion ICU beds and med surge bed numbers are the best numbers for us to keep an eye on. In addition to obviously the positivity rate and capacity.

Dr. Ezike: We kept saying last week that we thought we were plateauing that we were flattening, and that eventually we were hoping to [be] on the other end actually going down. We’re hoping that the data is showing that is where we’re going. I will highlight the fact that when people complain that we’re not moving fast enough with the plan, let’s remember that we advanced ourselves into phase two while we were flat, we clearly weren’t going down there. So we jumped ahead in getting into a new phase before the actual [garbled] heading down, we may be heading downward now again. With more and more days behind us, we can follow and see, is this a blip or does it look like it’s really consistently going down. In any case, that’s great. We’re hoping that we are there, but please remember that we did start some of our progression into these advanced phases into phase two, while we were still flat as opposed to going down but hopefully now, we’re going down, and we’re talking about falling numbers ever so closely. And so that we can see if that’s the case, remember that there are multiple metrics and you know the data doesn’t follow rules and stay straight for a day then go down for 20 days and continue, so you know one metric might go up and down another metric may stay flat, so we’re following all of it trying to make sense of it. We definitely want to see that we are heading down on the downward side, and we are going to know in a few more days two weeks if that really is the case.

* Physicians are claiming that more than 15,000 meatpacking plant workers in the US are infected with COVID-19, at least 60 have died with workers lined up in close proximity, viruses are easily spread within the slaughterhouse environment. Do you believe that these plants need to be shut down?…

I think as we think through all the different ways of reopening our state, when we really put our minds together and try to think of ways to be safe. There are ways to safely do a lot of things that we think we initially maybe thought we couldn’t do, but with all the awareness of the importance of social distancing with with masking becoming something that we accept now, the face covering, with people understanding the importance of hand sanitizer and how it needs to be put out everywhere and understanding I’ve seen plans where businesses have said, yes, we plan to have something sanitize the touchscreen, or surface clean after every use after every hour, all these different mitigation measures are what is going to make it possible for us to open things that maybe two months ago when we were very new to this whole process that we couldn’t couldn’t fathom doing so we are working with our infectious disease experts with epidemiologists with business industry experts, all of those people to put the best minds together, and the people who have the most knowledge of the industry to come up with plans that will keep people safe. of course as you know Dr Landon is always expressing a lot of onus is on individuals, it’s not just the people who are making policy writing policy, it’s actually what what is written, then has to be implemented and the implementation involves people that involves the managers of these industry and involves the individuals who work in that industry, everybody has a part to play, and if everybody plays that part, the right way, we can open many businesses safely.

* We talked yesterday about your blind trust, but there are companies within the Pritzker group, one of them being past group that has a contract with the state for testing. Even though you’re in a blind trust, are you still making money from it in the long term that money will be there for you after your governorship correct, is it ethical for it still to have a contract with the state should you have, whether it’s coronavirus or not, for any Pritzker company to profit in any way from a state contract?…

As you know, the very definition of a blind trust is that it’s blind. So I as you know stepped away from all of our businesses three years ago. And everything is in a blind trust, business or decisions that have been made in any of those businesses. So, you know, I really have not been involved for three years so if there’s anything like that I would I would not know about it.

* Yesterday you said that you saw no need for lawmakers to review your orders, but the legislature is a co-equal branch of government and it’s fair for them to provide their review of the orders or the reopen plan for the people’s representatives?…

I was asked if I needed, I wanted the legislature to ratify the orders that we put in place, that’s what I was asked about and that’s what I responded to.

* Back to this emergency rule and obviously lots of blowback on this. And you said this is a lighter punishment than lifting a business license or a shut down order. But isn’t there an alternative to injecting an arrest element into this context or injecting an arrest element?…

The state police and other law enforcement will tell you that this is simply a citation that can be issued and a decision at the local level about whether businesses in fact are really endangering people in their community by refusing to close when they should according to the orders that are in place. So that’s the purpose of it, it’s really intended to be a lighter version of, a kind of enforcement mechanism, rather than taking away somebody’s liquor license or shutting the business down entirely.

* Can you respond to a Moody’s report out today that the state actually faces greater pension risk today than it did in the subprime recession. You committed to making the full statutory contribution this year, do you have any plans and plans to speed up any payment…

I’m committed to making the statutory required payment to the plan and you know I would love to be able to speed up to more as you know I propose doing that in the budget that I proposed back in February, and would like very much to be able to do that for the state but as you’ve seen. We’ve got a pretty big challenge ahead of us to balance the budget and know that the legislature is working on that even as we speak.

* Governor with more and more local law enforcement officials in the state and here in northwestern Illinois, either they cannot enforce your orders, because they don’t have the manpower, or because they themselves don’t agree with them. Are you getting to the point of just giving up on the idea that your plan, though, may be good intent isn’t working for the rest of the state that’s not Chicagoland?…

I’ll just remind you that the vast majority of the people of the state are in fact following the plans that we put out. And the vast majority support the plans that we put out. They are supportive of the stay at home rule as part of the work that we’re doing to fight COVID-19 so I know there are some vocal, you know, leaders across the state. You know mayors or sometimes law enforcement who work for mayor’s who speak out. But look, I think everybody understands that the enemy here the fight that we’re in is against COVID-19 and that we ought to be following the science, not just the whims of, you know, desire by a mayor or here or there or you’re a leader of a reopen group, especially those that are carrying aisle signs to make their point. And you know, I think instead we ought to be listening to level heads. There are three of them on the, on the line here today, three doctors who live and breathe this every day I mean they have to work and understand COVID-19 and they’ve given you their views and it’s why I brought them forward. I could bring you dozens and dozens of others. These happen to be three of the great leaders in the state of Illinois, giving you the message that we need to stay the course.

* You’ve said that the state is reviewing COVID-19, removing those where the virus is not seen as a contributing factor to the depth, such as homicide or car accident. How many such deaths have been identified and removed from the state roles so far?…

Dr. Ezike: Ah, that is a small number, you know, less than a few percent, we can get that information but that is not a large number of our unfortunate large total of our total number of deaths.

* House Republican leader Jim Durkin basically, along with the Senate President Bill Brady were saying that, in light of the circumstances that people are facing in the private sector, that there are questions about why isn’t government laying off people, why aren’t state workers taking pay cuts?…

There are two things to keep in mind and I know that they want to cut state government no matter what, whether COVID-19 is here or not. But here we are in a pandemic in an emergency, and it’s now more than ever that we need to stand up for the social services that people need to make sure that we can fund the programs that help them reduce the rent.

You know this is exactly the time when you don’t want to cut public health departments. When you don’t want to cut back on our emergency management or on our department of innovation and technology. These are all things that now in the pandemic in the emergency you can see that state government should be doing. And in fact, we’re going to have to do more because so many people have been financially damaged by this disease, this infection. And so I would just suggest to them that the thing that we’re looking at as we think about balancing the budget is, is the federal government going to step up for all of the states? We’re not asking for anything special in Illinois, all of the states republican led states and democratic states have the same issue. We had a fall off of revenues, the result of COVID-19, whether you’re talking about Florida, or you’re talking about Georgia or you’re talking about California, New York, or Illinois. And so, they should at least acknowledge that their first instinct is to cut everything. That’s wrong here what we ought to ask is what do we need to preserve in state, what do we preserve in government in order to add support for people all across the state.

* Some businesses in the Chicago area say they’re starting to see an increase in customers attempting to come in without masks on. When asked to leave, they say that they have a medical condition which prevents them from wearing a mask. They must be accommodated under the Americans with Disabilities Act, that under HIPAA the store cannot legally ask them about their condition. Have you heard about that. Is it legal and how should a business react when confronted with something like that?…

It’s a good question and it’s, as you can imagine, this is something new to America. And now that we have a face covering requirement, our Department of Human Rights is in fact responding to this, and providing guidance for people who need to go into a store who were for medical reasons can’t wear face covering. What we want here is for the most number of people to be wearing face coverings. It’s not about requiring that every last person, especially somebody that’s medically unable to wear a face cover. But most people if most people if almost everybody would wear a face covering when they go out in public, in a public place with other people [when they] can’t social distance, that will do so much to reduce the spread here. So we’ll be looking into whether there are federal protections and how we can enact that. But for now anyway the Department of Human Rights is providing guidance for businesses as well as for individuals.

[That’s mostly a scam perpetrated by folks who don’t “believe” in masks.]

* Why is the state not doing widespread testing of residents at all nursing homes with known outbreaks to determine which nursing homes get those residents?…

I’ll turn this over to Dr. Ezike in a moment but just to say we are in fact going after widespread testing among our nursing homes and even among residents in places that have outbreaks. But as you know, as we’ve been ramping up testing, there’s been a limit to the amount of testing that’s available as we ramp it up even more, we’ll be able to do even more testing. But we’ve been at a focus on nursing homes.

Dr. Ezike: So just just to follow up on what governor said, our goal is to test everyone in every nursing home. The only reason that we don’t do that now is because of the limit of our supplies and our capacity. But as we’re aggressively, working again, going from a few hundred to 5000. Now we’ve averaged 20,000 in the last about a week. As we increase our capacity we’re increased the testing we will absolutely want to test. We were probably one of the first states in the nation to go in and start testing an entire facility back in March. But it wasn’t sustainable because of the supplies. But that is our goal right now, some of the criteria that we’re using, because we do have many facilities around the country. So it’s even just an issue of getting into all the facilities, but we do try to identify areas that already have a high burden of disease, hotspots, if you will. So we use that as one of the criteria as a place to go into. We also identify places where there’s an acute spike in that area. So that an acute increase in an area is another reason that would make us to identify a long term care facility in that region. And thirdly we look at if there is a high social vulnerability index. And so, social vulnerability index that’s a CDC metric, if you will, that takes into account. Basically, the higher your social vulnerability index is scored from zero to one, the higher it is the closer it is to one. That means that that area that that census tract is very it has a high rate, high number of individuals who are more susceptible to having bad things happen in association with this virus. So if there are more impoverished people, if there are more uneducated people out there more people without insurance that there are more people without jobs, we know that this that any kind of disaster a public health emergency of this kind, will ravage that area, more so than communities where everyone has an insurance everyone is educated, everyone has a job everyone has transportation etc. And so we’re using those three pieces to prioritize the areas that we go in first, but please know, if we had warehouses and warehouses full of all the supplies and we have all the capacity to do 1 million tests per second, we would hit every nursing home and hit them repeatedly not just once but we would be doing it with a consistent cadence to keep testing and retesting, and that’s what we hope to get to

* At what point do you think people will be able to visit family in nursing homes. Are there any plans for testing or socially distant visits to help this happen before a vaccine is established?…

Dr. Ezike: Yeah, that’s a great question and I will tell you that there has just been federal guidance that has been put out on this issue. And it says that visitations should be one of the last things that we should be thinking about, because there is still not an effective cure or a vaccine. I mean, putting this in, this is a global problem. If you look at Canada, 80% of their deaths have been related to nursing home residents. If you take all of Europe over 50% of their deaths, again in the same population. So this is a global challenge. And so visitation and having more people come in with the virus back and forth into the setting is not the solution. And the federal guidelines have said that just recently. They said we should think very, very slow about thinking, even as people cycle into their new phases, visitation should be way down on the list. When we’ve had places that have had an outbreak, we need to go in and do a complete survey of the facility before we think about lifting visitation restrictions. I don’t mean visitation is not the way we’re headed now. But we do want to, you know, encourage more virtual visits. We don’t want people to be socially isolated in terms of to their loved ones. However, people can promote that whether it’s through iPads or zoom and WebEx we’ve gotten really good with virtual connection over these last two months that we’ve been dealing with the pandemic and staying at home. and we want that to be available to our nursing home residents to try to take some of the sting off the fact that their loved ones can’t come in person. No, visitation is not something that we’re rushing to do. But we do want to promote connection, virtual connections and every, every possible way.

-30-

- Posted by Rich Miller        

27 Comments »
  1. - Lt Guv - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 3:07 pm:

    Why is Jordan’s feed so good and everyone else so crappy?


  2. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 3:15 pm:

    Always felt that they should have been much more prepared to do this virtually. Gov and Ezike should have actual independent webcams, lav mics and a little studio lighting. A kit would be $200-$300 bucks.

    Would make the whole thing look much better for those that take the feed for TV.


  3. - Bob Loblaw - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 3:38 pm:

    Why are these specific laws only subject to enforcement of individual police agree with them? I don’t understand how I, as a citizen, is supposed to process being told by a faction of lawmakers not to abide these laws, but presumably I should follow the others?


  4. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 3:39 pm:

    “House Republican leader Jim Durkin basically, along with the Senate President Bill Brady were saying that, in light of the circumstances that people are facing in the private sector, that there are questions about why isn’t government laying off people, why aren’t state workers taking pay cuts?”

    That’s Republicans for you, wanting to increase misery and suffering for nothing. Goes perfectly with protecting the richest at all costs. What good would it do to the laid off private sector workers if public sector workers are forced to share their pain, especially if its out of ideological spite?


  5. - Demoralized - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 3:40 pm:

    ==why isn’t government laying off people, why aren’t state workers taking pay cuts==

    So basically they would be happier if more people lost their jobs and pay. Nice.


  6. - Inquiring Minds - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 3:41 pm:

    I’m not able to find the WGN study on the average number of deaths for this period. Does anyone have better google skills than I do?


  7. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 3:44 pm:

    Although I’m not listening/watching the live feed, some of the gov’s answers seem a bit salty today. I think sheltering is wearing on everyone.


  8. - Former Downstater - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 4:00 pm:

    ==why isn’t government laying off people, why aren’t state workers taking pay cuts==

    Did I miss Durkin and Brady giving up some of their pay?


  9. - Bev - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 4:27 pm:

    Blind trust
    Really
    That’s it

    Wow


  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 4:45 pm:

    To a lump sum budget?

    Everyone shoulda learned ONE thing when it was done previously;

    Don’t do it again.

    Legislators want power, how about the power of the budget?


  11. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 4:50 pm:

    ===Let me start by saying that what’s extreme are lawmakers who don’t call out their fellow lawmakers who stand at rallies and call, you know, legitimate elected leaders, domestic enemies or give the home address of our US Senator and tell people to go surround their home or the many people who held Nazi symbols at those rallies that’s legitimate and frankly I’m disgusted by the failure of so many people to call that out.===

    I’m trying to figure out … where the Governor… might be wrong….

    That’s right.

    He’s not wrong.

    Carry on…


  12. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 5:05 pm:

    Lump sum budgets are so Quinn-tastic.


  13. - Cadillac - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 5:09 pm:

    === - Bev - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 4:27 pm:

    Blind trust ===

    What’s the size of this contract?


  14. - former southerner - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 5:23 pm:

    The fed chair needs to start using single syllable words so that our esteemed state GOP leaders can understand the economic implications of laying off state/municipal workers: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/19/business/coronavirus-stocks-economy.html?type=styln-live-updates&label=economy&index=0#link-6f67b0bd


  15. - Stix Hix - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 5:46 pm:

    ==[That’s mostly a scam perpetrated by folks who don’t “believe” in masks.]==

    Yeah. I live on a golf course. It appears EVERYONE out there is handicapped. All riding golf cars. Not a Bagboy in sight. Ever


  16. - SWBurbNerd - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 6:18 pm:

    Those gov leaders who think state workers should take a pay cut should volunteer to give theirs up first. Any bets on when we will see that happen?


  17. - thoughts matter - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 6:23 pm:

    I’m working full time from home. Have not had a workday away from my laptop once I got told to work from home. They really think my pay should be cut?

    How about these two come up with a plan as to what they are going to do about old and vulnerable state workers before the second wave this winter? Since tbsy don’t want to pay us to work from home.


  18. - thoughts matter - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 6:25 pm:

    To add insult to injury, Brady is my senator. Wish he’d start representing me.


  19. - Jibba - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 6:35 pm:

    Blind trust
    Really
    That’s it

    One step better than our President.


  20. - Huh? - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 7:11 pm:

    “Blind trust”

    I thought Illinois law and ethics rules didn’t allow for a “blind trust”.


  21. - Bev - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 7:14 pm:

    Jibba

    This is about jb
    Not the president

    Keep up


  22. - Bev - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 7:20 pm:

    I read yesterday

    13M


  23. - filmmaker prof - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 7:29 pm:

    Ok, I’ll say it. I miss Amy Jacobson’s lectures … I mean, questions.


  24. - SSL - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 8:39 pm:

    Stix Hix, it is disappointing if people are using carts freely. It should be monitored so only those requiring a cart can use one as the rules stipulate. I have played three times and have not seen anyone using a cart. With two people teeing off every 15 minutes the courses are pretty empty. The recent rains have quite a few courses under water now. Hopefully with phase 3 the courses can get back to foursomes every 10 minutes. Keep the clubhouses closed and no carts rule, and enforce it.


  25. - Generic Drone - Wednesday, May 20, 20 @ 9:01 am:

    If legislators really cared, they would force banks to defer all mortgage and loan payments to end of loan terms.


  26. - Huh? - Wednesday, May 20, 20 @ 10:53 am:

    “If legislators really cared, they would force banks to defer all mortgage and loan payments to end of loan terms.”

    This would be a government seizure of private property. What just compensation would be given to the landlords and mortgage lenders?


  27. - Jibba - Wednesday, May 20, 20 @ 12:32 pm:

    Bev…feel better? The president and JB have similar problems. Investments can easily be put into a blind trust because the managers don’t have to keep them (stocks, etc). What do you do with a family business that has your name? Trump has done nothing, which is unacceptable, although his problem is bigger because his worth relates to his name and brand, not to the worth of the assets. JB at least has put others in charge and withdrawn from the decision making. Much better.


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* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Pritzker thanks Dr. Ezike, extends financial protections, points to progress, says no more daily COVID-19 briefings - Calls Trump tweets "reprehensible" - "I want to send my condolences to the family of George Floyd, and also to every African American in this country" - Defends budget decisions - Credits Illinoisans for progress against virus - No bill signing ceremonies - Hopes testing progress continues - "It seems as if President Trump is withdrawing us from the rest of the world" - No out of state travel plans - Talks contact tracing - Asks Illinoisans to be careful during reopening - Will sign Medicare for undocumented seniors bill - Refuses to criticize Lightfoot for Trump comments - Talks about difficulties in securing testing locations - Dr. Ezike and Pritzker respond to question about what they've learned about themselves and leadership - "We're no longer in a stay at home order"
* 1,622 new cases, 86 additional deaths
* *** UPDATED x1 *** What in the heck is going on in Rockford?
* COVID-19 roundup
* All metro areas reporting record high unemployment rates
* School seclusion and restraint bill derailed after opposition
* Attorney DeVore asks appellate court to dissolve another TRO
* Question of the day
* Madigan issues new guidance to members, staff
* Architects abandon alternative reopening plan
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* House of worship attendance limit expected to be removed from stay at home order
* Open thread
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Sheriffs file suit against state for refusing to accept jail transfers
* Pritzker says IDPH has offered "suggestions" to churches - Says he's received "pushback" from some private nursing homes - IDPH will file new rule on nursing homes - Still looking at what to do about IDPH rule - Dodges question about Willie Wilson - Employers should use "common decency" when bring workers back - Will wait on feds before making any more budget decisions - Central Illinois hospitalization numbers improve - "We might potentially have to move backwards in the phases - "Not our intention" to make changes to Phase 4 guidance - No plans to dine at restaurant this weekend - No decision about ending daily briefing - Repeats that he has never encouraged police enforcement - Suggests GOP demand for IDES audit could be a "political move" - Still pondering school reopening - All testing is free - Asked about dangers of Legionella in large buildings - Testing and tracing metrics are "internal goals" - Points to federal rules on unemployment and workers who refuse to return - "Difficult for us to open theaters in the near future" - Dr. Ezike talks rules for malls - Dr. Ezike monitoring outbreak at county jail with ICE detainees
* Yesterday's stories

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