Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Reporters actually take Skillicorn seriously - Was home on Monday - Warns of increasing hospitalizations in Wisconsin - Says USDOJ is “very much under the political thumb of the White House” - Next EO will continue eviction ban - Number of people with multiple tests “very small” - Asked about southern Illinois winery’s refusal to require staff to wear masks - Dr. Ezike doesn’t answer question about self quarantine for Illinoisans at Lake of the Ozarks - Repeats that legislature “abdicated their responsibility” on replacing his withdrawn IDPH rule - Will sign cocktail takeout bill when it reaches his desk - Dr. Ezike: “I can’t give anybody a COVID free pass” - Says legislature should’ve made more cuts - State will carry on if Pres. Trump cuts off National Guard - “No deal” on cannabis with his office
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Reporters actually take Skillicorn seriously - Was home on Monday - Warns of increasing hospitalizations in Wisconsin - Says USDOJ is “very much under the political thumb of the White House” - Next EO will continue eviction ban - Number of people with multiple tests “very small” - Asked about southern Illinois winery’s refusal to require staff to wear masks - Dr. Ezike doesn’t answer question about self quarantine for Illinoisans at Lake of the Ozarks - Repeats that legislature “abdicated their responsibility” on replacing his withdrawn IDPH rule - Will sign cocktail takeout bill when it reaches his desk - Dr. Ezike: “I can’t give anybody a COVID free pass” - Says legislature should’ve made more cuts - State will carry on if Pres. Trump cuts off National Guard - “No deal” on cannabis with his office

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

* The governor talked about some good news on hospitalization rates and then took questions: The last time we were here was prior to the announcement of your staffer who was diagnosed. Can you give us a quick update on how that person is doing?

That person is fully recovered, that person is back at work, and doing just fine. So thank you for asking.

Make sure to pardon all transcription errors.

* I have a list of questions here. A lot of them have to do with Allen Skillicorn this morning announcing that he was going to be going out with a recall affidavit for you, claiming you failed to stay with IDES, and you’ve overstepped your authority. Can you respond to that affidavit?…

Well I’m glad to hear that the representative apparently has changed his mind and now believes that we ought to fund state government instead of hollowing out the way that he has voted over the course of his career. Because it is a fact that IDES and other agencies like the Department of Public Health have been frankly left behind after many years of representatives like that one voting to have a budget stalemate for two years in which we had no budget, and no funding for our budget in the state, and has consistently voted against budgets that would fund vital agencies that we now frankly need very badly in this pandemic.

* He said you were late to the ball game to respond and prepare for knowing that your stay at home or was going to cause millions of people to be called not essential and to lose their jobs. He said more should have been done sooner, how much of this problem do you bear responsibility for?…

I think what he forgets is that the stay at home order, which is very much like what’s happened all across the nation, was a vitally important part of slowing down the transmission levels of COVID-19. Many many fewer people have died, many many fewer people have gone into ICU beds or hospital beds than would have had we not acted quickly at the beginning and in the middle of this. Remember what [garbled] the doctor who stood here on the day that we put the stay at home order in place, said, which is, you know, the consequence of all the work that we did is nothing will happen. I understand his point, his point is that now that you see things I assume that he wanted the stay at home order at the beginning, although he never has expressed that

* What he said today was in effect that you should have anticipated. So many people were going to filing for unemployment should have done more with a website sooner should have hired more people sooner to deal with what he says you should have anticipated…

Well, you couldn’t possibly anticipate that we would have a number of unemployment filings that was an enormous multiple of that which occurred during the Great Recession. Nobody expected that, nobody knew in fact, when this pandemic would begin to subside in any way. In fact, the pandemic itself has not, but the reaction of the people of Illinois has really kept people safe. So the IDES website was designed 10 years ago, we’ve talked about this and. And of course, when this became clear that we were going to see a rush of applications. We acted as quickly as we could with a system that frankly you can’t just snap your fingers and replace. You have to be as I have often said, you’re building the plane while trying to fly it and you’re trying to fly it well, putting a million passengers on board, an almost impossible job but one that IDES has handled as best it could. Now, the number of people who man the phones, I have to say that there are federal requirements for the training of somebody who answers the phone because of the privacy considerations. And so we’ve only been able to grow that very modestly. We brought everybody that we could to the front line to answer phones we’ve expanded the number of phone lines, put new systems in. So people are getting their calls answered, and about the clip of 2000 per day. And we continue to work very, very hard to respond to people who could not get their application filed online but again I want to say to anybody out there that has not filed for unemployment that needs to file for unemployment, that your best bet is to go online that system is now handling, many many many multiples of what it could handle at the very beginning of this epidemic. And I want people to make sure that they get the unemployment benefits that they deserve.

* In New York, they got help from Google to get their site up and running. Do more people need to be hired for the phone lines and should another company be brought in to help with the computer system?…

Well as with New York we brought in outside contractors as well. And that’s why our systems are working so much better now than they were at the very beginning. And so I want to compliment the people that IDES working with outside contractors to expand that online capability, as I said just a moment ago. We’re bringing people on as fast as we can, but again with the requirements for the the federal government puts on who can be on those phone lines, really managing incoming filings. What we’ve done is tried to offload the calls that aren’t individual privacy consideration calls and tried to either put them to people who are not trained at taking by the federal government level two, taking those filings. So they can take the kind of helplines sorts of calls or when people go online, they now have the ability to speak with somebody online on a chatbot.

* Over the weekend, first of all, so many people are out and about. My colleague Sarah Sheltie is asking about this memorial day weekend. First of all, were you in Lake Geneva at all and if not, did you at least see the video of all the people that crowded the streets around the lake there as well as the Indiana Dunes and what’s your reaction to so many people, most of these people are probably coming from Illinois just ignoring all the social distancing we’re doing here, going to these other states, and then coming back?…

Well, the answer to the first part of that question is I think you’ve seen me every day on camera with this backdrop, or in Springfield, for the last 75 days or so. I have not been out of the state for, I don’t know since before sometime in very early March before this pandemic hit, before we had a disaster declared in the state.

So that’s the answer to the first part of that question. In terms of people who are going and partying and not wearing masks, leaving the state, doing things that are essentially against the rules here in Illinois. But okay in some other state I think I just want to point out that I just read yesterday that there was a 16% increase in hospitalizations in the state of Wisconsin since the stay at home order was rejected by their Supreme Court, and a 30% increase in Milwaukee in hospitalizations. So I think that’s an example of what can happen if people don’t follow the mitigations that are supposed to be put in place that are supposed to keep people healthy and safe. So I would caution people.

Look, nobody stopped anybody from traveling, that’s never been the case, anybody can travel. What we’ve suggested to Illinois residents because we want Illinois residents to be safe, is to follow the same rules for yourself when you travel that you would have if you were at home. To see these crowds I am terribly dismayed frankly I think that the challenge here is I want every resident of Illinois safe I want them to keep themselves safe. They have the ability to do that. And so people who choose not to either, haven’t been reading the newspaper, aren’t following the rules, don’t seem to understand how dangerous this pandemic is. And I want to be clear to everybody that’s watching and to all the reporters, so that you can report it out, the pandemic is still here. Just because the numbers are moving in the right direction in the state of Illinois, that does not mean that the virus has gone away. It’s still there. The reason that we’re doing so much better here in Illinois than we would otherwise have is because people have worn face coverings, that people are washing their hands, they’re doing the things to keep themselves safe, that they should be doing and following the executive orders that I’ve put in place.

* Some Illinois houses of worship have capacities of hundreds or even thousands California’s letting them reopen with capacity limits this weekend as long as they don’t have more than 100 people at a time. In which phase do you plan to allow houses of worship to be able to do the same. And to that point. Have you asked IDPH to come up with guidelines for churches for when they could open?…

We’ve done even more than that Craig, we’ve asked churches to come with their ideas about how they can do it safely. As you’ve seen, we have allowed drive up services. We are working with churches for outdoor services. We want people to be able to worship. I think it’s vitally important. All we want to make sure is that when they do it that they’re safe and so we’ll work with any churches, or taking plans for churches and trying to work with them you saw that the Catholic Church came up with a very workable plan that I think is, you know, something a model for people to follow. So I encourage anybody that has an interest in putting forward a plan to do it safely because I know the vast majority of faith leaders just want to do it right they want to keep their parishioners safe as IDPH began the process of coming up with its own guidelines, much like they did with the legislature for them.

* Darren Bailey’s case was in court downstate. My colleague Mike Flannery just asked, the US Department of Justice, saying the stay at home order exceeded your legal power under state law, and that a state judge should handle this case rather than transferring to federal court. No decision made on that today but what is your take on that, what’s your response to the offense getting involved last Friday?…

It’ll be made by a federal judge about whether the case should go to federal court, but they’re clearly those cases have as their basis some accusation that a constitutional right is being taken away. And so, that’s a federal matter if it’s a constitutional right. So they’re just wrong. I understand that that the justice department, which is very much under the political thumb of the White House, is encouraging their appointees to weigh in on things like this. It’s a highly political thing to do, very unusual if you ask most people that have served in those capacities in the past. But, that’s what the White House has chosen to do.

* The ban on evictions is set to expire on Friday, along with your stay at home order that you said, that order will be extended to allow the state to enter into phase three. Will a continued ban on evictions be part of that new order?…

Yes.

* What is the state doing to help fund COVID-19 therapies and can you provide any update on antibody testing information that the state has and why is that not being reported?…

Dr. Ezike: It’s a loaded question. So, the state itself is not the one that does research itself to identify, we don’t have labs where we’re trying to come up with the therapies. Once those therapies go through their normal process and then are FDA approved of course they’ll be used throughout the state so it’s not really within the purview of IDPH.

Your second question was regarding antibody testing. So yes, there is antibody testing that has been happening through the state. Again, I think, as we may have discussed in the past, there’s still a lot of questions out there regarding the significance of the antibody tests. We know that we have a way to look and see if people may be developing antibodies. There are different types of antibodies there’s the [garbled] antibody there’s the [garbled] antibody. And so trying to figure out what level of antibody would would then pretend immunity and if it does pretend immunity is it. How long is that immunity for so not being able to answer those questions not having any reference standards that we can use. We can’t do much with it now. We did convene a group of infectious disease epidemiologists immunologist and biologists to review this issue and see if there was a more definitive role for antibody tests in the state of Illinois, to help with the reopening plan and and that team of experts did deliver that report and said, at this time, we can’t do anything with it yet but we are hoping we will get to a point where it can have a more prominent role in decision making and plans and determining herd immunity etc.

* Can you clarify the numbers when we look at the number of positive COVID-19 tests that does that indicate the number of people infected, when people have multiple tests throughout their illness are those tests counted in the total positive test numbers….

Dr. Ezike: We know that certain people may have multiple specimens that were taken and so if you want to have the positivity rate for people over people tested total positive people over people tested total that would give you that would be comparing the same thing and the numerator and the denominator and so we want to give. How many people are actually positive cases over how many people were totally tested and so that is the number that we’re trying to give as the percent positivity and so we’re trying to make sure that that’s what the data represents, and that’s what we’re trying to report going forward.

Pritzker: It appears to be a very small number of people who are getting multiple tests. So it isn’t like there’s some massive overstatement of the number of positives but it’s very unusual to for people to go get multiple tests.

* A southern Illinois winery announced they will not be requiring their staff to wear masks because they can be a quote reservoir for COVID-19 particles and quote create a false sense of security and risk our staff and guests’ health. Are there any kind of special precautions or considerations wineries across the state should be considering as they move into phase three?…

Dr. Ezike: I think an important point to mention there is that if someone is wearing a mask, again, the primary goal was that you were not expelling a virus. So if someone was wearing their mask we were at a place, a place of business and establishment, and they thought that they were spewing out virus that would suggest that you thought you had infection and were not staying home, and were risking spreading that. So I would say, as the first word of caution, I would say, if you think you are ill or you have signs that you are ill, you should be staying home in the first place and probably shouldn’t be at any place of business. But then in general, when people are a symptomatically transmitting the virus, we know that if there are two people. If one person has the virus. If they wore a mask and this individual didn’t, there would be a lower transmission lower risk of spread because this person had a mass. If both of them were wearing a mask there would be an even lower risk of spread. If both of them were wearing a mask and staying socially distance is six feet, even lower. So, we know that each of these measures are additive and help decrease the overall risk of transmission. And so I think all of our goals should be to decrease transmission because in fact, despite even having a negative test yesterday you could be positive today. And since we don’t know when we’re seeing that there’s a growing amount of asymptomatic transmission, we should all be employing every tool at our disposal to decrease the possibility of transmission.

* Do you recommend self quarantining for anyone who visited Lake of the Ozarks over Memorial Day weekend? It’s a popular destination for folks in the metro east and some Missouri counties in Kansas have issued a self quarantine recommendation…

Dr. Ezike: I would just say that that is some of the risk that we all are subject to as things start to open up. You know, things will, I think the whole state is going to evolve into phase three. And as you think about going for that haircut, you don’t really know where, you know, the people helping you or people, other people in the shop you don’t know where they have been. And so yes I would love if everyone around me who thinks they have been in a high risk place could stand down, but it’s probably not going to happen. But the least that we can do is to wear our mask and promote the social distancing so that if someone does have something we can decrease the amount of transmission that would be possible to the best of our abilities with the techniques that we have available to us.

* Since both an administrative rule and proposed statute to tighten enforcement have failed to advance, are there any real teeth to your emergency orders what will the state do to those who violate the orders?…

Yeah, well we’re left with the enforcement mechanisms that we have, or any rules that we may put forward going forward. But as you know, I talked about this. We’ve tried to avoid using those other methods of enforcement and that includes taking away people’s license to do business, and includes the possibility of closing a business. Those are not things that I wanted. In fact, I asked, implored the legislature to give me a tool. Our intention when we put an emergency order forward was to have the ability and emergency rule rather forward was to have the ability to simply to issue a citation which is a much lower level of consequence for people than having their license taken away to do business entirely. So, I then asked the legislature simply to pass something. They were unwilling. I think they abdicated their responsibility and a lot of them talked about, we know that they’re a co equal branch, well then you’ve got to take a co-equal a level of responsibility when you’re asked to and they were unwilling to, so we’re going to have to pursue whatever tools are available to us.

* Governor, when will you sign takeout cocktails are you planning any other measures to help bars and restaurants make it through the pandemic?…

Yeah, I’m so glad that that passed and I’m, I hope to sign that as soon as it’s available to me as you know it needs to be passed over by the clerk of the House and the Senate. And I’ll sign it as soon as it comes to my desk.

* How can people safely expand their quarantine circle in phase three when groups of 10 are allowed, can you hug grandparents, should you only see the same family and friends?…

Dr. Ezike: I can’t give anybody a COVID free pass.

As you expand your circles obviously there’s a additional risk of transmission, because, again, we don’t necessarily know who is harboring the virus and who isn’t so hopefully if people are all being as careful as you are and they have used their mask and social distance to the extent possible, hopefully their risk is low. But again, the more you increase your circle the larger that circle is absolutely the more risks but people have to learn to coexist with COVID and so you know we’ve. I know that people have done a really good job and they’ve stayed at home and now as they’re coming out, they will have to make these calculated decisions and assume a risk that they’re comfortable with, so risk benefit ratio again, there’s no way to know for sure if someone is harboring the virus or not. And that’s a that’s a little bit of a wild card. And so you can do what you feel is appropriate, take all the mitigation strategies that we do have an employee those. Use your mask and keep your distance. And after that, that’s the most I can offer, I can’t promise anything after that.

* Illinois is the only state so far that officially plans to tap the Fed liquidity facility. Is that because Illinois has limited options partly and partly given past financial decisions that led to almost no rainy day fund and resulted in higher borrowing costs?…

Well, what I can tell you is that it was the decision of the legislature to not implement more cuts.

And, you know, in a common belief and hope, I guess that the federal government will in fact offer support to state and local governments all across the nation. But look, I think everybody understands that in the middle of this pandemic we’ve, every state has lost tax revenue and had increased expenditures that are you know related to COVID as well as some that are tangential, but only occurred as a result of COVID. So we’re going to need help. There’s no doubt about that. And I think that was the reason the legislature did what it did. But look they’ve also did not cut as much as I think they probably could and so we’ll be, I’ll have to continue to look at the budget along the way. They gave me the authority to do that here.

* Does the state have a backup plan if President Trump goes through with his plan to pull back National Guard troops who helped with contact tracing and delivering food to nursing homes?…

We’re going to need to make those deliveries, we’re going to need to make the, fill in what we need to if the federal government is not going to help out by supporting our National Guard troops. We obviously have the ability to fund those or choose to fund those if we decide to. But either way, we’re not going to let those services fail.

* Could you explain what happened in the GA with the cannabis bill? There’s some confusion about whether a deal had been made with the governor’s office to move it forward…

No. There was no deal made with the governor’s office, they just could not get it moved forward between the House and the Senate.

In the answer to the next question, the governor said he and Dr. Ezike believe “we seem to have come off the peak.”

* New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the state will no longer allow COVID-19 patients who are positive to be discharged from hospitals to nursing homes. What is the current policy in Illinois and is there any plan to change it?…

Well, again, it’s the idea here is to keep everybody in nursing homes safe and to make sure that nursing home patients have somewhere to go.

And so, nursing home residents do have the ability to go back to nursing homes. And to the extent that they have not been determined to be entirely COVID free, they would probably not be let out of the hospital. So we’re going to be very careful about that. People have already come out of the hospital and gone home. And we have not seen transmission from somebody who has come out of the hospital and then transmitted it to somebody in their nursing home.

-30-

- Posted by Rich Miller        

51 Comments
  1. - very old soil - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:10 pm:

    On May 13 the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon was helping Illinois. https://mavenroundtable.io/theintellectualist/economics/amazon-google-help-states-as-coronavirus-boosts-unemployment-claims-2vd5lqcYRU-1iyKyKXpktg


  2. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:12 pm:

    ==Well as with New York we brought in outside contractors as well.==

    But they didn’t have to hire Deloitte.


  3. - Shytown - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:16 pm:

    Maybe someone should remind Skillicorn of the science behind the stay at home orders across the country - literally days and hours mattered. Every day with that order lives were saved and for the days we didn’t start the clock, lives were lost. For some Americans, human lives only seem to matter when it’s their family and friends (or in some cases, when it’s a fetus). Anyone who’s taking this guy seriously should re-evaluate the profession they’re in.

    Now my question is, can we recall asinine state reps and senators for using this pandemic for the purpose of causing even more political division and ignoring the science?


  4. - Pearly - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:17 pm:

    It is so, so spectacular to see Skillicorn crusade for more government benefits to be given out faster. This is no doubt an ideologically consistent opinion which he will maintain going forward.


  5. - Norseman - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:25 pm:

    === Reporters actually take Skillicorn seriously ===

    There are too many that take the bite on goofiness to sensationalize their stories. However, we still have a great cadre of reporters covering Ilinois politics. I have the occasional nits to pick. One reporter used to take the quick juicy quotes from IPI without counter views, but he’s gained more experience and doing a good job now imho. It all comes down to experience and observation of those who know the ropes.

    The bigger concern is the loss of experienced folks due to the industry’s economic problems. That would be a devastating blow to an informed public.


  6. - GregN - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:36 pm:

    Norseman, your last graph is spot on. Even a city the size of Chicago can’t seem to “support” real journalism, so how will smaller communities have a local press at all?
    And it isn’t just ad dollars that have dried up, many papers or groups are now owned by hedge funds which squeeze budgets to milk whatever profits are left.
    I suspect you know all that, just wanted to say it…


  7. - Somewhat interested observer - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:40 pm:

    Despite what I think has been a decent job by the Governor during the pandemic, his (and at times the Mayor as well) comparing other states to IL (or Chicago) has become increasingly grating. Even after Wisconsin has had their hospitalization increase, they had a little over 400 hospitalizations as of Friday (most recent data I could find easily). That means we have 9x the hospitalizations for 2x the population. Fair to point out another state’s increase, but doubt that state is driving our ongoing issues, which is where our attention should be.


  8. - Louis G Atsaves - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:42 pm:

    So if I understand the Governor correctly, he issued a stay at home order for all those who worked “non-essential” jobs, then was shocked that his hollowed out IDES was unable to handle the avalanche of unemployment insurance claims filed by those being unable to work from home and be paid for it.

    I get the finger pointing and politicians are well trained to behave this way, but tell me he did not expect IDES to be overwhelmed, hollowed out or not hollowed out.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:44 pm:

    There is zero serious about Allen Skillicorn as a legislator.

    Any legislator that cites “Red Dawn” as a rationale for *any* legislation, ever.., they are not serious to the task of governing.

    The Hateful Eight;

    Trump, Skillicorn, Cabello, Miller, Wilhour, Halbrook, Caukins… Bailey…

    They are NOT serious people to the governing

    They are dividers with a super-super minority as a base of anger, hatred, racism (overt and other), and clearly a distain for Chicago.

    When you give the office(s) they hold the respect by giving them the vested power of the respect, you get questions and a manner to seemingly make them relevant.

    None of them see a greater good in unity. They see the politics of division as good, and good being making them seem engaged, but when a President sees no responsibility to the job, when state legislators see forcing a “new state” silliness or “recall” lunacy as leading… that’s on too many who allowed these strangers in our house, our party, our government.


  10. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:46 pm:

    ==But look they’ve also did not cut as much as I think they probably could and so we’ll be, I’ll have to continue to look at the budget along the way.==

    The big question is whose offices/services get hammered if the Governor feels the GA should have made more cuts. Could the unions be the next to rally at the Statehouse and JRTC if he makes cuts to state services and puts state workers at risk of layoffs?


  11. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:48 pm:

    === I get the finger pointing and politicians are well trained to behave this way, but tell me he did not expect IDES to be overwhelmed, hollowed out or not hollowed out.===

    Oh - Louis G Atsaves -

    I don’t think you were surprised that IDES was overwhelmed, or Deloitte,… the last administration… for a whole General Assembly refused to fund the state through a budget. It wasn’t a hollowing out, it was a purposeful gutting, unless an agenda passed.

    ‘Nember? I know you do.

    “I’m frustrated too but taking steps to reform Illinois is more important than a short term budget stalemate.”

    Your family did ok, but the state not so much…


  12. - efudd - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:55 pm:

    Skillicorn and Bailey do more for Illinois Democrats than 10 Madigans with a million dollars each could dream.

    What’s Skillicorn’s position on extending benefits if needed?


  13. - tea_and_honey - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 3:58 pm:

    Anyone know the name of the winery? I’d prefer to cross that one off my wine list.


  14. - Louis G Atsaves - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:09 pm:

    @OswegoWilly, back to personal attacks instead of intelligent commenting. Too bad. Are you telling us the current Governor should not have been surprised that IDES would be unable to handle the avalanche of claims post stay at home orders? I blame the virus as much as anyone else, but he kind of sounds clueless here. He did have roughly 15 months to unhollow out that agency but he also has a history of being slow with appointments and hirings.


  15. - 17% Solution - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:12 pm:

    ==Even after Wisconsin has had their hospitalization increase, they had a little over 400 hospitalizations as of Friday (most recent data I could find easily). That means we have 9x the hospitalizations for 2x the population==

    Six months ago New York had one Covid-19 patient.


  16. - Excitable Boy - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:15 pm:

    - He did have roughly 15 months to unhollow out that agency -

    Yeah, this situation was definitely on everyone’s radar 15 months ago. As was the EO.

    You’re either a buffoon or a liar, but I suspect both.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:20 pm:

    === back to personal attacks===

    That’s not a personal attack. Why do you take it as such.

    Your family did well under Rauner. Many didn’t, lots didn’t, but it’s not a personal attack.

    === Are you telling us the current Governor should not have been surprised that IDES would be unable to handle the avalanche of claims post stay at home orders?===

    Were you surprised, Counselor? Of course you weren’t, you knew the score.

    Governor Pritzker knew the score too. His predecessor, an utter failure, by any measure, gutted thus state as best he could, rewarded some with computer contracts, but still overwhelmed.

    I myself feel it’s a real issue, as his IDES filing problem is yet to be solved, but in typical Raunerite fashion you mock and forget your Patron’s role in hurting the state.

    Between IDOC, IDES and DPH, there are serious answers that are lacking. But your comically whimsical look at those issues, that’s kinda like ignoring why Rauner lost by the largest margin by a sitting “Republican” Governor in Illinois in 100 years.

    Did Bruce as you to run in his place too?


  18. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:20 pm:

    === He did have roughly 15 months to unhollow out that agency but he also has a history of being slow with appointments and hirings.===

    Bruce did take care of his own quickly…


  19. - Demoralized - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:27 pm:

    ==He did have roughly 15 months to unhollow out that agency==

    Are you kidding me? You can’t expect to be taken seriously when you throw garbage like that out there.


  20. - Harvest76 - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:38 pm:

    Me: Reads Skillcorn’s comments

    Also me: Checks to see if this is The Onion


  21. - Louis G Atsaves - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:43 pm:

    @OswegoWilly, you were horrified over the attacks on the Governor’s family recently. Yet you continue to attack mine. And those attacks always appear from you and only you. Not. So. Odd. What’s next, resuming your personal attacks on Diana Rauner? Rauner’s daughter?

    And 15 months to unhollow an agency is a pretty long time. What happened, if anything, over those 15 months, has yet to be fully explained.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:57 pm:

    === You were horrified over the attacks on the Governor’s family recently.===

    Horrified, Counselor? No.

    I found it odd and quite unsettling that of all things going on, wondering about the governor’s family during a global pandemic where, now, 100,000 people will have died… that’s kinda missing the ball.

    === Yet you continue to attack mine.===

    Your family did well under Rauner. It’s not a crime, you should be proud. Aren’t you proud? As the state suffered, no budget… that’s not an attack, it’s an observation.

    === What’s next, resuming your personal attacks on Diana Rauner? Rauner’s daughter?===

    Counselor, for the 8,675th time;

    Rauner’s denied, Winnetka-living daughter did not clout *herself* into Payton Prep. Your phony argument, again counselor, only works if the daughter called to clout herself over a worthy Chicago living student. She didn’t

    === resuming your personal attacks on Diana Rauner?===

    Meh, her emails and the hiring of IPI folks for messaging instead of looking to help the state says more than I can…

    Yikes, man.

    === And 15 months to unhollow an agency is a pretty long time.===

    Maybe Gov. Pritzker doesn’t have folks… looking for appointments… and filling them.

    Again… IDES, IDOC, DHS… not seeing these places running all that smoothly, and thus pandemic is highlighting the years of no state budget too.

    It’s one thing if Gov. Pritzker’s predecessor was wholly incompetent, it’s another if his predecessor was trying to purposely hurt agencies as a strategy.

    Still, as bad as it is, the Governor is polling at numbers his predecessor could never reach, so Illinois wants to see how the governor can right this ship and get things in line.

    I don’t think Gov. Pritzker will ask someone else to take his place.

    You didn’t answer, did Bruce ask *you* to run in his place, seems he asked lots of folks… admittedly


  23. - MyTwoCents - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 4:59 pm:

    So a winery owner knows more about the efficacy of wearing masks/coverings than IDPH or the CDC? Who knew? But if nothing else the owner needs to hope that not a single employee happens to get COVID. Now that the business has decided to disregard IDPH and CDC guidelines they can toss any workers comp defense right out the window, which I’m sure their insurance company would be happy to hear about.


  24. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 5:02 pm:

    == I don’t think Gov. Pritzker will ask someone else to take his place.==

    And what’s more, we likely won’t be hearing him complain that he’s “not in charge”.


  25. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 5:08 pm:

    will anyone, ever, be able to give a covid-free pass?


  26. - JoanP - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 5:10 pm:

    = I can’t give anybody a COVID free pass. =

    I wish more people understood that. All of these people who want to know if and when they can do X, Y, or Z, are tiresome. Nobody has a crystal ball. All they can tell you is what the current knowledge is and the best ways we know to keep safe.

    The rest is on you.


  27. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 5:15 pm:

    few,if any, Lake of the Ozarks visitors will self quarantine. Neither will the thousands that were at Kinkaid Lake. You wonder why I have little faith in testing and contact tracing. Sounds really good on paper, but in the real world…..I guess we will find out.


  28. - Jocko - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 5:26 pm:

    ==Sounds really good on paper==

    And would be effective if we had an informed, empathic leader. Instead, we have a president who’s afraid of looking ‘uncool’ wearing a facemask around strangers.


  29. - Louis G Atsaves - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 5:31 pm:

    @OswegoWilly, your personal attacks serve to divert everyone’s attention to IDES and their inability to rise to the occasion after the Governor ordered the shutdowns. Congrats. When you get a better back story about my wife, let me know. Until then.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 6:01 pm:

    I’m still finding the Lake of the Ozarks images so troubling to what it could mean for Illinois.

    The Lake Geneva thing, yeah, not great, but the NE region has more hospital options.

    Can southern Illinois handle what may be coming?


  31. - Morty - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 6:03 pm:

    Sillycorn is never to be taken seriously. He is Twinkee of representatives…pure junk food


  32. - ee7y - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 6:15 pm:

    iyeuhj7ufuffrjrrjyrjfyffyffjfufudddk7ddkdudhu8dhff8fgfuhgfifhuffdfuddjgffgffjddtejrgfdhdtdddyffjdjffjfgfhffdjgjffgdjffyffgfgfjfgyfidhdihddhdhjfgffyfyfudjjfyfjffhjffffjfffyff/fuffff


  33. - Chatham Resident - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 6:17 pm:

    ==But look they’ve also did not cut as much as I think they probably could and so we’ll be, I’ll have to continue to look at the budget along the way.==

    Yet last week, the Governor said he “won’t stand” for cuts to the state’s breast and cervical cancer program:

    https://capitolfax.com/2020/05/20/todays-quotable-169/

    And then today he says the GA “didn’t make enough cuts?” What gives here?

    Looks like yet again we poor state employees might get some of the brunt of the cuts.


  34. - Jibba - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 6:35 pm:

    ===tell me he did not expect IDES to be overwhelmed, hollowed out or not hollowed out.===

    So you’re saying that we should have forced people to stay at work so we didn’t have to process their UI applications? Sensible.


  35. - Pundent - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 6:36 pm:

    =Sounds really good on paper, but in the real world…..I guess we will find out.=

    And I thought you were a guy who believed in American exceptionalism. Are you telling me we can’t compete with Germany and South Korea? Crushing.


  36. - KSDinCU - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 6:42 pm:

    I think JB could haven been more direct and succinct in his response on IDES. “The stay-at-home order was necessary to keep people safe, and yes, the system was overwhelmed. We’re working on it, and have already fixed some things.” All that he needed to say. People who follow these things already know how much blame the previous governor deserves, and people who don’t follow these things don’t really care.


  37. - Cadillac - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 7:06 pm:

    === - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 6:01 pm:

    I’m still finding the Lake of the Ozarks images so troubling to what it could mean for Illinois.

    The Lake Geneva thing, yeah, not great, but the NE region has more hospital options.

    Can southern Illinois handle what may be coming? ===

    You don’t think people from the NE Region go to the Lake of the Ozarks in addition to Lake Geneva?


  38. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 7:09 pm:

    === You don’t think people from the NE Region go to the Lake of the Ozarks in addition to Lake Geneva?===

    Nope.

    I’m more inclined to think… that proximity is a factor in decisions.


  39. - Cadillac - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 7:13 pm:

    LOL

    You better ask around.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 7:18 pm:

    === You better ask around.===

    “LOL”

    If ya wanna go all anecdotal… i know far more people in cook and the collars that head to Lake Geneva, lots, that have ever been to the Ozarks.

    I do know, friends “Springfield” and south who’ve been to the Ozarks, never been to Lake Geneva.

    Proximities a factor for each, as in discussions… that has been brought up.

    Kinda like Cardinals’ fans…


  41. - DailyGrind - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 7:26 pm:

    * Can southern Illinois handle what may be coming? *

    Can you be a little more demeaning ? Southern Illinois isn’t 1930’s Appalachia, most areas are within a reasonable drive of STL, evansville, even Nashville and Memphis aren’t that far if the need arises.


  42. - Pundent - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 7:37 pm:

    I’m about 45 minutes from Lake Geneva and usually go out on the lake 3-4 times a month. Haven’t been yet. I went to the Ozarks once 20 years ago but an 8 hour plus drive makes it impractical. Most Chicago folks that are north go to WI those south IN and MI.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 7:40 pm:

    === Most Chicago folks that are north go to WI those south IN and MI.===

    (Hashtag) Geography


  44. - West Side the Best Side - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 7:52 pm:

    In the collar counties if you’re north you go the Wisconsin, if you’re south Indiana or Michigan. Ozarks? That’s somewhere south of I 80, right?


  45. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 9:19 pm:

    A salon owner or worker just put it in the best way on the TV news. She said she’s glad Pritzker and Lightfoot set up guidelines because what good is a job if you’re dead.


  46. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 10:22 pm:

    Lived in the state line - live in central Illinois. No one EVER in Rockford talked to me about the Ozarks.

    Live in central Illinois; I need more than two hands to count the number of people I know that have property in the Ozarks.

    From I-72 south when people say they are going to the lake this weekend - it’s not named Geneva or Michigan.


  47. - PublicServant - Tuesday, May 26, 20 @ 10:30 pm:

    Well there were enough dummies north and south to go around.

    Willy, that’s for stepping up. You’re always on point, and you’re my Wordslinger successor. I know you won’t accept the title, but I’m putting it out there anyway. You too MJM.


  48. - Southern Illinois Infrastructure - Wednesday, May 27, 20 @ 2:33 am:

    DailyGrind,

    If all you can do is take Oswego Willy out of context, then maybe you have a weak argument. He was clearly referring to hospital capacity. There aren’t many ICU beds down here. Also, we don’t know how surges might hit neighboring hospital capacity in the Metro East, in St. Louis, or in Evansville.


  49. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 27, 20 @ 4:16 am:

    - Southern Illinois Infrastructure -

    You’re all over it, that was the point.

    === …most areas are within a reasonable drive of STL, evansville, even Nashville and Memphis aren’t that far if the need arises.===

    You’re making *my* point for me, - DailyGrind -.

    All those areas… they ain’t located in the Illinois border.

    You’re very kind, - PublicServant -. I’ll never come close to - Wordslinger -, he is the standard. Your words are humbling. Stay well.


  50. - Blue Dog Dem - Wednesday, May 27, 20 @ 6:03 am:

    willy. Your up awful early.


  51. - VerySmallRocks - Wednesday, May 27, 20 @ 1:10 pm:

    Too bad I’m not a wine drinker (beer & whiskey are my vices), otherwise, I would start a boycott of the public health “expert” of that Southern Illinois winery.


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