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724 new cases, 23 additional deaths, 2.6 percent positivity rate

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020

* Press release

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced 724 new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 23 additional confirmed deaths.

    Bureau County: 1 male 60s
    Cass County: 1 female 90s
    Cook County: 1 female 40s, 1 male 40s, 1 female 50s, 1 male 50s, 1 male 60s, 2 females 70s, 2 males 70s, 2 females 90s
    Kane County: 1 female 60s, 2 males 70s
    Lake County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 90s
    Rock Island County: 1 male 90s
    St. Clair County: 1 male 80s
    Tazewell County: 1 female 90s
    Winnebago County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 143,185 cases, including 6,923 deaths, in 101 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 31,069 specimens for a total of 1,602,965. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from June 23 –June 29 is 2.6%.

* Meanwhile, the COVID Exit Strategy website now rates Illinois as “Trending Poorly,” mainly because, as of yesterday, cases had risen by 16 percent in the previous 14 days. The positivity rate had also increased by a fraction of a percent, but that factor contributed as well.

The Test And Trace website says Illinois has 611 contact tracers and needs 3,113, which means we’re 2,502. The state says it plans to hire about 3,800 tracers, but the program has had a very slow start. More on that from the COVID Act Now website

Per best available data, Illinois has 611 contact tracers. With an average of 716 new daily cases, we estimate Illinois needs 3,580 contact tracing staff to trace all new cases in 48 hours, before too many other people are infected. This means that Illinois is likely able to trace only 17% of new COVID infections in 48 hours. These low levels of tracing suggest there may be an active outbreak underway in Illinois, or that little tracing capacity exists. Strong caution warranted.

* Frank Main at the Sun-Times

A west suburban nursing home where 12 residents have died of the coronavirus plotted to kick out an elderly woman because her daughter criticized the troubled facility, according to a lawsuit the daughter has filed in Cook County circuit court.

* Tribune live blog headlines

D.C. dispatch: Fauci says U.S. could reach 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day

‘What if I don’t get better?’ Some COVID-19 survivors struggle with symptoms for weeks, even months, mystifying doctors.

Hyde Park Jazz Festival re-imagines itself amid pandemic

U-46 likely to require face mask usage, hand-washing stations, office shields when school resumes

Noise from al fresco dining irritates some neighbors of downtown Arlington Heights restaurants

Aon to restore most salaries cut by COVID-19 pandemic — and pay employees back what they gave up

Cubs’ Jason Heyward donates $100,000 to aid COVID-19 workers and increase contract tracing efforts on the South Side

Cook County property tax bills begin arriving Tuesday, but late fees waived until Oct. 1

Beaches and pools begin to reopen throughout the suburbs. But in Chicago, at least officially, the wait continues.

Bud Billiken Parade, a longtime Chicago tradition, cancelled

* From the Illinois State Board of Education

June 30, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

Following the release of our Transition Joint Guidance for Starting the 2020-21 School Year, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has engaged in fruitful dialogue with educators and stakeholders concerning the use of face shields in lieu of face coverings (e.g. masks). Since that time, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has communicated that face coverings and social distancing are the goal whenever and wherever possible. Face shields have not been deemed effective for source control and are only to be used when other methods of protection are not available or appropriate. IDPH arrived at this determination after lengthy additional collaboration with the communicable disease team, infection preventionists, and infectious disease specialists and after reviewing available Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

In cases where individuals need facial visualization for instruction and communication, IDPH recommends video instruction to promote social distancing. If video is instruction is not available or appropriate, face shields may be used with the understanding that they have not been deemed effective for source control. As such, heightened attention and adherence to 6-foot social distancing is critical for individuals using face shields. Examples of limited situations when face shields may be necessary, if video instruction is not possible, include for teachers of English Learners or world languages, whose students may need to see their mouths form words to facilitate language acquisition.

Emphasis in original.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      


Bustos on the hot seat

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020

* Mark Maxwell interviewed US Rep. Cheri Bustos

After the election of President Trump, Politico, the same outlet came to you, curious how a Democrat in your district that elected President Trump could win. It sort of pitched you as I think maybe a Trump voter whisperer, if you’d agree with that there. But you told them that “on sensitive topics,” things like Black Lives Matter, “I don’t dwell on them.” That was back then. Do you wish now that that you had? Do you regret that comment at all?

From that 2017 profile

She talks, in other words, about these kinds of things by not talking about them much, because the people she represents, she says, aren’t talking about them much, either, or don’t want to.

“On these sensitive topics,” she said—Black Lives Matter, transgender bathroom laws and so on—“I don’t dwell on them.”

* Bustos’ response to Maxwell’s question

No. You know, I think, umm. Look, I’m a former reporter, and I know what you do to do research when you interviewing somebody. And you could go back to, you know, looking at articles that I used to write, you know, from the 1980s, for that matter. But the moment we’re living in right now, it’s 2020. And we are in the midst of a movement that is very special. And that is very important. And I think, you know, historically, we’ll look back at this and we’ll say this was a moment of change. And I’m confident that again, as House Democrats, where we are in the majority, we will be voting on a momentous piece of legislation that will pass. And, just, whatever the Senate ends up doing, November is a time of change. And what I was going to say about the last person’s statement: the part that I don’t agree with is, Joe Biden is going to win. And as House Democrats, we will stay in the majority and we will grow our majority. I’m increasingly confident that Democrats will win in the Senate as well. And then, this meaningful change… And this isn’t… You know, I know there’s all the articles about, you know, we’re going far left or whatever it is. We will bring about meaningful change that will pass the House that will pass the Senate that will be signed into law. And, and I just… I think this, what we are living through right now will lead to, to momentous change for the better of our country.

There’s more, so go read the rest.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


Maybe find another funding source?

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020

* The Center Square

Illinois businesses that suffered a financial loss from recent public protests and looting could get a break from the state.

State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, has filed legislation to allow for a property tax credit in the same amount as whatever financial hit was taken.

“While it won’t cover everything, I think, at a minimum, these businesses that have already suffered under COVID, they ought to be compensated, or at least be given a small tax credit to make up for at least a portion of their losses,” Syverson said.

He says many businesses suffered losses that will be higher than the tax bill, which would mean a full waiver of the year’s property taxes.

Last week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Pritzker $25 million from the state’s capital program would go to help businesses that sustained property damage due to looting during recent protests. Syverson said more is needed.

“The ones that won’t help are the stores couldn’t open up due to protests, those that law enforcement [advised] to close because of what might happen, or those businesses that had to hire private security because the city would not guarantee any protection,” Syverson said.

He said it’s most critical to provide assistance in communities where local authorities either chose not to enforce the law or could not provide adequate protection.

“The first job of any municipality is to provide a protection for individuals, their families, and their property,” Syverson said. “If they’re going to allow crimes to occur, then they should at least reimburse those who were victims of the municipality’s unwillingness to fulfill and follow the law.”

So, he addresses this by imposing a possibly huge unfunded state mandate on local governments?

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      


Question of the day

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020

* The Center Square

With fireworks readily available in neighboring states, a state senator says it’s time to legalize them in Illinois.

State Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, has attempted to get a bill passed on more than one occasion, but can’t get Democrats to come on board.

“With the massive decline in state revenues due to the COVID, this would be an easy way to pick up some sales tax dollars and put some people to work in our state and they are just not interested,” Rose said.

Despite being illegal, Rose said fireworks already are here and the state is simply losing tax revenue to surrounding states that sell them. He estimates the state would bring in about $10 million a year in sales tax revenue.

Fire safety groups across the state are opposing any sort of legislation to legalize fireworks, something they said they already see enough injuries from. Bloomington Fire Chief Brian Mohr thinks it is a bad idea.

“I enjoy a fireworks show, I like them,” Mohr said. “I think they are entertaining, but unfortunately they are dangerous and there needs to be a higher level of experience before someone is setting them off.”

The risk of misusing fireworks is real. According to the Illinois State Fire Marshall, there are an average of 18,000 fires caused by the improper use of fireworks every year.

Fireworks have been banned in Illinois since 1935 under what was dubbed the Fireworks Regulation Act.

* The Question: Should Illinois lift its ban on fireworks sales? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please…


find bike trails

- Posted by Rich Miller   60 Comments      


Federal judge appears skeptical of GOP arguments

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020

* Daily Law Bulletin

A federal judge Monday indicated her skepticism that Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s limits on gatherings during the pandemic unfairly infringe on political parties’ rights.

U.S. District Judge Sara L. Ellis during the hour-long phone hearing largely directed her questions toward arguments made by Daniel Suhr, a senior associate attorney for the Liberty Justice Center, which represents the plaintiff Illinois Republican Party, Will County Republican Central Committee, Schaumburg Township Republican Organization and Northwest Side GOP Club.

They sued Pritzker earlier this month alleging his May 29 executive order, which explicitly lifted in-person restrictions for religious gatherings but not for political parties, violated their First and 14th Amendment rights. […]

Ellis agreed that one of the ways to prevent the spread of the virus is to limit the number of people gathering in one place at any time.

And imposing those limits, whether on religious services or political events, does not infringe on participants’ ability to exercise religion or exercise speech, she said.

“They just cannot do it in numbers larger than 50,” Ellis said.

Uh-oh.

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      


Licensing delay could be “catastrophic” for some applicants

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020

* Press release…

The Illinois Department of Agriculture announced today the July 1st deadline for issuing adult-use cannabis craft grower, infuser and transporter licenses has been temporarily suspended. Due to the previous application deadline extension and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Pritzker issued an Executive Order to extend the deadline. The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) will announce a new date to issue up to 40 craft grower licenses, up to 40 infuser licenses, and an unlimited number of transporter licenses. View the Executive Order here.

“The Pritzker Administration is committed to creating a fair and equitable adult-use cannabis industry in Illinois. IDOA is helping achieve that goal by providing Illinois residents, specifically those who live in communities that were disproportionately impacted by the failed war on drugs, with multiple entry-points to this new industry,” said Jerry Costello II, Acting IDOA Director. “The COVID-19 pandemic and the 6-week deadline extension granted to applicants have caused unforeseeable delays in the application review process. The Department is working tirelessly to ensure that applications are scored and awarded in a fair, deliberate and equitable manner.”

Once determined, IDOA will publicly announce the new date for issuing licenses.

The deadline is tomorrow and they’re just announcing this today? This, by the way, is the third time the licensing process has been delayed.

* Tribune

The delays could be catastrophic for some applicants, particularly those who were paying to hold real estate for grow facilities. The setbacks also threaten efforts to diversify the largely white industry.

“We’re going to have to write another check to the landlords to hold the building,” said Jamil Taylor, who leased a South Side building for a grow facility through the end of July. “That definitely puts us in a tough spot … We have to shell out thousands and thousands of more dollars.”

Under the law, grow license applicants had to secure property in advance. Taylor, who applied with a group for grow, transporter and dispensary licenses, said some groups won’t be able to afford an indefinite delay, and could lose their properties.

Social equity applicants are particularly at risk, Taylor said.

Unacceptable.

…Adding… Some of y’all in comments just haven’t been paying attention. The authority he has to delay these things is provided for in Sections 7(1) of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act

Sec. 7. Emergency Powers of the Governor. […]

(1) To suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing procedures for conduct of State business, or the orders, rules and regulations of any State agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any statute, order, rule, or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder or delay necessary action, including emergency purchases, by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, in coping with the disaster.

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      


¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020

* WSIL TV

Illinois’ minimum wage will bump up to $10 on Wednesday. The move brings employees one step closer to the state’s checkpoint of $15 by 2025. However, some aren’t happy the state is moving forward with the increase during the current pandemic. The $15 minimum wage plan was the first bill Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law in 2019. Workers saw the first increase to $9.25 per hour on January 1, 2020. The momentum isn’t slowing down due to COVID-19, as workers can expect an extra 75 cents an hour next month.

Minimum wage workers will make $10 while tipped employees will get at least $6 per hour. Teen workers will see a boost to an $8 minimum wage. Some business owners are concerned they won’t be able to pay everyone and may have to cut down on staff.

Republican lawmakers hoped Pritzker would pause the payment ramp during the pandemic to lessen the bleed for businesses. However, the state’s Department of Labor is moving forward as planned.

Um, how could the governor or IDOL “pause” the minimum wage increase on their own without legislation? The article doesn’t say.

* Illinois Radio Network

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he won’t delay an increase in the state’s minimum wage, which he pushed for and signed into law during his first year as governor.

That state’s minimum will increase to $10 an hour on Wednesday.

Shortly after taking office in 2019, Pritzker enacted a phased increase to the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. The first of two increases was Jan. 1 of this year going from $8.25 to $9.25 an hour. The second increase this year is set for Wednesday.

Again, how was the governor going to “delay” a minimum wage increase on his own without legislation? The article doesn’t say.

…Adding… From the other end of the spectrum…


- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


Just another reminder that the days of learning election results on election day are over

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020

* Kentucky’s primary was held last Tuesday

Retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath will face off against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this fall, after winning a closer-than-expected primary against progressive challenger Charles Booker.

The primary proved to be a nail-biter up until the very end, with Booker and McGrath each pulling ahead at various stages of vote-counting. Booker dominated in Jefferson County, his home area around Louisville and a key area for Democrats. But ultimately, a weaker margin outside of Lexington wasn’t enough to make up McGrath’s showing in rural areas outside the two cities.

Despite election day in Kentucky being held on June 23, a crush of absentee ballots made it impossible to know statewide results until a full week later. Vox’s partner Decision Desk called the race on June 30, around 11:15 am. The week of delays could serve as a preview for the November general election, if it is close.

* We have been conditioned to expect election results on election night. Those days are over, folks…


* We’re going to need a massive public awareness campaign. The craziness from the far left on Twitter during the counting of that Democratic US Senate primary has been off the charts. One tiny example…


- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      


*** UPDATED x3 *** Harvard study: Illinois one of just 17 states conducting enough COVID-19 tests

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020

* The Hill

Only 17 states and Washington, D.C. are currently meeting minimum targets for doing enough coronavirus testing, according to a new analysis.

The Harvard Global Health Institute, in collaboration with NPR, finds that 14 states and Washington, D.C. are doing enough testing to mitigate the spread of the virus, meaning it won’t be eliminated but it will not spread out of control. An additional three states are meeting a higher threshold of doing enough tests to suppress the virus and prevent almost any new cases. […]

The 14 states along with Washington, D.C. doing enough testing to mitigate the spread of the virus, according to the analysis, are: Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

The three states meeting the higher goal of suppression-level testing are Vermont, Hawaii and Alaska, with West Virginia, Montana, and New Jersey close behind, the analysis finds.

More here.

*** UPDATE 1 *** There is, however, a problem with Illinois prisons. Here’s Hannah Meisel

The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) has tested less than three percent of its prison population for coronavirus — a ratio that criminal justice reform group Restore Justice Illinois says is unacceptable, as Covid-19 cases in a northwest Illinois prison facility spike.

According to IDOC, 71 incarcerated men at the East Moline Correctional Center tested positive for Covid-19, along with five staff members. That number has steadily climbed since Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration first acknowledged the outbreak two weeks ago, when 26 inmates and three staff members had tested positive.

That rapid spread is a symptom of IDOC’s failure to formulate an adequate Covid-19 testing plan, according to a new report from Restore Justice published Tuesday. The group blasted IDOC for not reporting more data to the public, including how many prisoners are currently hospitalized with the virus and timely reports of Covid-19 deaths among incarcerated populations and prison staff.

“More than any other state, [Illinois has] embraced the most vigorous Covid-19 safety measures and protocols,” Restore Justice President Jobi Cates said Monday. “It baffles me how we could be in late June and still have only tested under three percent of prison population.”

More here.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Jordan Abudayyeh…

The Department has been closely following the CDC guidelines and working with Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) based infectious disease specialists to develop strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID 19 in Department facilities. The guidance we have received has not advised utilizing mass testing. However, the Department tests symptomatic offenders, uses focused prevalence testing, screens selected subpopulations, and screens offenders prior to inter-facility movement and medical furloughs. The Department also requires that staff be screened prior to entering facilities. The screenings include responding to a series of COVID related questions and having their temperatures taken. In the event that staff have any of the COVID-19 symptoms outlined in the screening document and/or have a temperature they must go home. The Office of Health Services constantly reviews the evidence and remains open to modifying current practices based on expert guidance.

*** UPDATE 3 *** From the University of Illinois System’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs

The University of Illinois System’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) today released a report on COVID-19’s impact in the state’s prisons and jails. […]

The Policy Spotlight says testing should be prioritized in areas where there is a greater risk of the virus either being carried into the facility by staff from the region or spilling over into the community. The spotlight suggests that while the Illinois Department of Corrections has made progress on giving inmates some access to cleaning and hygiene supplies and COVID-19 testing, the conditions still need to be improved.

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      


Study: Unionized hospitals were better prepared for pandemic

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020

* Press release

Illinois’ unionized hospitals have dramatically lower staff vacancy and turnover rates, safer workplaces, and more robust infection prevention and control systems while enabling registered nurses to devote substantially more time to care for individual patients, according to new research by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI).

“The global coronavirus pandemic has put new strain on Illinois’ hospitals and a nursing workforce that was already facing severe shortages,” said study co-author and ILEPI Policy Director Frank Manzo IV. “This report shows that unionized hospitals in Illinois were far better prepared to absorb the impacts of COVID-19. Our findings have important implications for the future of hospital staffing and how we manage public health crises.”

Specifically, the report reveals significant differences between the state’s unionized and non-unionized hospitals in the wake of COVID-19, including:

    • Union hospitals have nurse turnover rates that are up to 14% lower.
    • Unionized hospitals have nurse vacancy rates that are up to 45% lower.
    • Unionized hospitals report 15% fewer OSHA violations and 29% fewer serious violations.
    • Unionized hospitals employ more infection prevention and control staff—particularly in Cook County which has seen two-thirds of the state’s COVID-19 caseload.
    • Nurses at unionized hospitals are able to devote 1 to 4 more hours of care to each patient, on average.

Despite their weaker staffing and care outcomes, the report notes that the state’s non-unionized hospitals have received 16% more funding per bed than unionized facilities from federal pandemic relief measures such as the CARES Act. All told, Illinois’ hospitals have received at least $1.1 billion, and small Illinois hospitals with under 100 beds have received more than four times the per-bed funding than their larger unionized counterparts.

Prior ILEPI research had documented that Illinois’ hospitals faced a shortage of 20,000 registered nurses before the COVID-19 pandemic, with half of its nursing workforce over the age of 55 and more than three-quarters of the state’s nurses warning of insufficient staffing levels. A proposed “safe patient limits” nurse staffing law– which would have required Illinois’ hospitals to hire more nurses and has been linked to better patient outcomes, including lower fatality and readmission rates for certain respiratory conditions and improved nurse retention, at minimal impact on the financial performance of hospitals– has been pending in the Illinois General Assembly for nearly two years.

The full report is here.

* Capitol News Illinois

But while the Illinois Health and Hospital Association agrees there is a nursing shortage, it argues the lack of preparedness was more of a federal problem, and that the nursing shortage did not diminish the quality of care patients received. It strongly opposes legislation requiring minimum nurse staffing levels at hospitals, and disputes any correlation between the quality of patient care and the presence of a nurses’ union in a hospital. […]

“First of all, we’ve been drilling and doing exercises on pandemics before the pandemic hit,” [Danny Chun, spokesman for the Illinois Health and Hospital Association] said during an interview. “Every hospital in the state, as you know, has an emergency preparedness plan for disasters of all kinds – mass shootings, traffic accidents, biochemical, biohazard, flu epidemics or pandemics. In the city of Chicago last year in the summer of 2019, Chicago hospitals did an exercise, a drill with the Chicago Department of Public Health on this exact issue – pandemics. And we were directly involved in a lot of the planning and discussions back in January, February, March where hospitals got ready for the pandemic.”

Chun said hospitals were directly involved in discussions with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration in the early stages of the pandemic to plan mitigation efforts, including the decision to cancel or postpone nonemergency surgeries and procedures in order to free up hospital resources for COVID-19 patients.

“Look at the numbers. We flattened the curve,” Chun said, referring to hospitalization data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, which have shown a consistent downward trend since May in hospitalizations, intensive care admissions and ventilator usage by COVID-19 patients.

- Posted by Rich Miller   3 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Federal judge sends Bailey case back to Clay County

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020

* Mike Miletich

The controversial lawsuit case between Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) and Gov. JB Pritzker has regained momentum.

Both parties have waited weeks for a decision on where the case would continue. U.S. Magistrate Judge Gilbert Sison remanded the case back to Clay County on Monday.

The Illinois Attorney General’s office wanted consideration in federal court on May 21. Bailey’s Attorney, Tom DeVore, immediately filed a motion to remand the case to Clay County.

“It is a fundamental principle of federalism that federal courts may hear only certain claims, such as those raising ‘federal questions’ or ‘arising under’ the laws of the United States,” Sison wrote. “A defendant may not remove a case to federal court unless, at the time of removal, a plaintiff’s complaint establishes that there is federal jurisdiction.”

* Bailey’s attorney won’t be awarded legal fees, however. From the opinion

In his emergency motion to remand, Bailey asks the Court to order the Governor to pay his reasonable fees and costs incurred during the period of time this action was pending in this court. […]

Bailey vigorously argues that Governor Pritzker’s decision to remove this case was frivolous and in bad faith, but the Court disagrees. The removal was timely. The face of the complaint arguably seeks to vindicate constitutional rights, like the right to travel and the right to free exercise of religion, without specifying that it refers only to rights secured by the Illinois Constitution. The Court seriously considered whether Bailey unintentionally pleaded himself into federal jurisdiction by raising a claim under the United States Constitution with this lack of specificity, and the decision in his favor was a close call. As such, the Court does not find that Governor Pritzker lacked an objectively reasonable basis for seeking removal. Thus, the Court will not award any fees under Section 1447(c).

*** UPDATE *** We apparently have a court date…


Since other county judges have ruled in favor of the EO, this likely isn’t gonna matter outside Clay County, population 13,815.

- Posted by Rich Miller   22 Comments      


CDC official: “This is really the beginning”

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020

* The most depressing thing I’ve read in days

The coronavirus is spreading too rapidly and too broadly for the U.S. to bring it under control, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday.

The U.S. has set records for daily new infections in recent days as outbreaks surge mostly across the South and West. The recent spike in new cases has outpaced daily infections in April when the virus rocked Washington state and the northeast, and when public officials thought the outbreak was hitting its peak in the U.S.

“We’re not in the situation of New Zealand or Singapore or Korea where a new case is rapidly identified and all the contacts are traced and people are isolated who are sick and people who are exposed are quarantined and they can keep things under control,” she said in an interview with The Journal of the American Medical Association’s Dr. Howard Bauchner. “We have way too much virus across the country for that right now, so it’s very discouraging.” […]

“This is really the beginning,” Schuchat said of the U.S.’s recent surge in new cases. “I think there was a lot of wishful thinking around the country that, hey it’s summer. Everything’s going to be fine. We’re over this and we are not even beginning to be over this. There are a lot of worrisome factors about the last week or so.” […]

“What we have in the United States, it’s hard to describe because it’s so many different outbreaks,” Schuchat said. “There was a wave of incredible acceleration, intense interventions and control measures that have brought things down to a much lower level of circulation in the New York City, Connecticut, New Jersey area. But in much of the rest of the country, there’s still a lot of virus. And in lots of places, there’s more virus circulating than there was.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** “Millions unmasked march” planned for late July

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020

* I kid you not

I gotta think they’re setting attendance expectations just a tad high.

…Adding… Financial Times

A national face mask mandate could act as a substitute to renewed lockdowns that would otherwise deduct about 5 per cent from gross domestic product, Goldman Sachs analysts argue as a number of states in the US have paused or reversed easing measures in response to growth in coronavirus cases.

“We find that face masks are associated with significantly better coronavirus outcomes,” according to Jan Hatzius, economist at Goldman Sachs. “Our baseline estimate is that a national mandate could raise the percentage of people who wear masks by 15 percentage points and cut the daily growth rate of confirmed cases by 1.0pp to 0.6 per cent.”

Goldman said it analysed the impact of face mask mandates in 20 American states and the District of Columbia between April 8 and June 24 and data on mask usage from YouGov and found that they raise the percentage of people who “always” or “frequently” wear masks by around 25pp in the 30 days after the order is signed. They estimate that a national mask mandate would increase usage by “statistically significant and economically large amounts” in states that currently do not require it.

Despite the rise in coronavirus cases mask usage remains a political issue in the US and is voluntary in a number of states. Goldman found that mask usage is highest in the Northeast, which was particularly hard hit by the pandemic, but where conditions have now improved, while the numbers are far lower in the south.

Arizona, Texas and Florida, which were among the first states to reopen and have seen a jump in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, have all reversed easing measures. Indeed, Goldman Sachs analysis found that reopenings have been delayed or reversed for about 40 per cent of the US population, which has raised fears about fresh lockdowns.

*** UPDATE *** WICS TV

Guest speakers include:

    • Grundy County States Attorney Jason Helland
    • Illinois State Representative Darren Bailey
    • Constitutional Lawyer Thomas Devore
    • Teacher Tonya Sneed
    • Parkview Christian Academy Board President Jed Davis
    • Event organizers Dawn Gregory, Kayla Brooks Null and Michael Rebresh

Helland was clobbered by Secretary of State Jesse White in 2018. He’s been a regular at these rallies.

- Posted by Rich Miller   72 Comments      


Open thread

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020

* Yeah, that about sums it up…


- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      


*** LIVE COVERAGE ***

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2020

* Follow along with ScribbleLive


- Posted by Rich Miller   Comment      


PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Chairman Welch sends letters to potential witnesses, sets hearing date for September 29
* *** UPDATED x1 *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Update to today's edition
* Today's must-read
* Rate the new Dani Brzozowski TV ad
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Governor's office flatly denies CBS 2 rumor about high school sports
* Illinois has 8th worst unemployment recovery year over year, 6th worst recovery since January, 9th highest unemployment rate
* 2,120 new cases, 20 additional deaths, 1,481 people hospitalizations, 3.6 percent positivity rate, 24 counties reach warning level, Will/Kankakee off mitigation
* Open thread
* House investigative committee coverage roundup
* Question of the day
* Hang in there, Maggie!
* Pritzker to sit down with stakeholders after uproar over cannabis lottery process
* Rep. Mason claims she received a "rather threatening note" on her car
* Federal judge rules against Cook County GOP lawsuit to block new vote by mail program
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today's edition and some campaign updates
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

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