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Republican politician claims state mitigations may have made death rate worse

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021

* Center Square

An Illinois state representative says data and science show Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 mitigation, which was among the strictest in the nation, may have made the death rate worse in Illinois compared to neighboring states that had fewer economic restrictions. […]

Illinois state Rep. Tony McCombie’s district is on the border with both Iowa and Wisconsin, which ranked No. 3 and No. 8 respectively for least strict states by WalletHub. McCombie said for months consumers have been going to neighboring states’ restaurants and other businesses, including herself.

“We were going over there if someone wanted to go for a cocktail or if they wanted to go for a meal, or if they wanted to go shopping, consumers will find a way and they did,” McCombie said.

She said based on numbers she’s reviewed, the more strict restrictions in Illinois haven’t helped the state’s COVID-19 death rate compared to neighboring states.

The CDC pegs the Wisconsin COVID-19 death rate at 106 per 100,000. WalletHub ranked Wisconsin eighth least restrictive on COVID-19 mitigation. Iowa, ranked by WalletHub at No. 3 least restrictive, had 148 deaths per 100,000. Illinois’ COVID-19 death rate was 163 per 100,000.

McCombie, who’s Illinois district borders both Iowa and Wisconsin, said it doesn’t appear the governor’s mitigation in Illinois did any good.

“Wisconsin is ranked 8 compared to Illinois’ 42, so it just shows you that the increase of restrictions did not do what the intention was,” McCombie said.

Um, OK. So when the Chicago area was being absolutely slammed with a deadly virus, the state should have literally done nothing? And what would’ve happened everywhere else if Chicago had continued to party on, Garth?

* Back to the story

When comparing Illinois with neighboring states for total cases per 100,000, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin surpassed Illinois.

That would be in large part because the virus didn’t slam those states early and doctors and scientists learned how to treat it a bit better.

* One more

Another indicator of the impacts stricter mitigations are having on Illinois compared to neighboring states is the unemployment rate. Illinois’ unemployment rate is 7.6. That’s more than double Iowa’s unemployment rate of 3.1 percent and higher than all neighboring states.

Every study I’ve seen says the virus itself is causing people to avoid public facilities. And Iowa isn’t exactly an international hub for huge conventions, etc.

Is Rep. McCombie running for president of Facebook Comment Land or something?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Catch and carry - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:33 am:

    Possible IL folks visiting neighboring states brought it back to Illinois instead of staying there and spreading it in the state they caught covid…

  2. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:34 am:

    So much distortion. So little time.

  3. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:35 am:

    WalletHub and Wirepoints. If it wasn’t for the both of ‘em, Greg Bishop would have to bite a dog to have copy.

    Woodward or Bernstein he ain’t.

  4. - SWIL_Voter - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:38 am:

    Not really sure how you can compare any two states unless you have some way of determining how well the restrictions were followed and enforced, and it doesn’t help when people like her are actively telling people to ignore restrictions. But it seems to make sense to compare states with similar population, and we seem to have punched above our weight when comparing them

  5. - Nagidam - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:39 am:

    Unfortunately Rep. McCombie doesn’t see the big picture. COVID early on in the pandemic hit transportation centers the hardest. Chicago was hit hard as was New York. The lockdowns early on were a chance for the scientists to understand the virus and give first responders a chance to catch up. They did. The results on life expectancy from the virus have increased since the beginning of the pandemic. Iowa and Wisconsin, and for that matter southern Illinois followed behind major metropolitan areas for contracting the virus. The whole open space versus congested issue. So it would follow that they had better medical outcomes when they were contracting the virus.

  6. - very old soil - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:39 am:

    What C and C said. and where do they find these people?

  7. - Nagidam - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:41 am:

    For first responders I meant front line health care workers. Although you can add them to that group as well.

  8. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:41 am:

    The party of personal responsibility is blaming the governor for their own actions of driving to another state to have a beer.

    On brand, I suppose.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:44 am:

    Between the grifters preying on folks to “sue” the governor as they lose gracefully while cashing checks… to others like McCombie, a failed coup ringleader, pandering to the simple minded and comparing apples to a toaster.

    What’s even more pathetic than the grifters merely separating money from the marks is that these deniers are willing to put lives at risk solely for political posturing.

    More and more it looks like McCombie’s standing and stature lowers the more there’s an insertion into areas of lacking, first in a failed coup and next in how this virus is, borders and comparisons failing.

  10. - Commisar Gritty - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:45 am:

    In the Museum of Bad Takes, this one gets it’s own wing. Isn’t this the same argument they use against common sense gun reform? Why pass gun laws here when I can go to Indiana and go buy a truck full of em? Other states’ irresponsibility and willful scientific ignorance does mean we should follow suit.

  11. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:46 am:

    This is a propaganda piece. We should treat it as such.

  12. - Lake Michigan Scribe - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:46 am:

    There’s nothing like framing a debate by “othering” someone. Those Republicans sure are beyond polite society in fiscally sound Illinois.

  13. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:48 am:

    ===by “othering” someone===


    Your feelings are not my concern.

  14. - Incandenza - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:48 am:

    Also, consider the demographic profiles of those states compared to IL. IL has a much higher percentage of the very demographics who were more at risk of severe complications and death.

    All the “data” she’s pointing out shows that those states (except maybe WI) are overwhelmingly white

  15. - One hand //ing - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:50 am:

    === We were going over there if someone wanted to go for a cocktail or if they wanted to go for a meal,===

    This is what really galls me. No, Tony. *WE* didn’t do those things. *I* am staying home because the old fashioned I can get at a bar isn’t so much better than my homemade version that it was worth someone ending up on a ventilator over. It’s a basic test of whether you can put the common good ahead of your own immediate desires. You know, kind of what leaders need to do. You failed. You take pride in having failed. Resign.

  16. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:51 am:

    ===Those Republicans sure are beyond polite society in fiscally sound Illinois. ===

    You let us know when the GOP legislators have finished identifying which state facilities they would like to have closed in their districts and which state funding they would like to have cut from programs their constituents rely on.

  17. - Frumpy White Guy - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:51 am:

    O my goodness Mt. McGumbie is really out there.

  18. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:54 am:

    For the 100th time, there are lots of other very bad outcomes that don’t result in death. Sheesh, wear a mask.

  19. - Westender - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 10:57 am:

    As a resident of the district she serves, I can tell you this type of non-responsibility is frequently heard from her. Just visit her FB page one day to see for yourself. One of your articles yesterday talked about the difference between Republicans and Eastern Bloc Republicans . I immediately thought of TM, as she represents Ronald Reagan’s home district. Her recent colors are much more closely aligned with Eastern Bloc antics than Reagan Republicans.

  20. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 11:07 am:

    == Her recent colors are much more closely aligned with Eastern Bloc antics than Reagan Republicans.==

    The entire republican party has decided to leap off the cliff. Their collective national reaction to trump costing them the house, the senate and the White House - along with a whole slew of governor’s mansions and a couple of state houses - is to lean all the way in on trump. I thought the whole purpose of this stuff was to win more elections? I’m just a repair guy though, so I could be wrong.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 11:13 am:

    McCombie decided to take down Durkin. Failed.

    All McCombie has left is try to seem in line with the ridiculousness of Trumpkins and be a hero for the “unheard”, even if it means honesty to thought or fact is missing.

    McCombie will marginalize herself, no need to worry about others doing it by comparing to the Eastern Bloc.

  22. - Quibbler - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 11:18 am:

    == Is Rep. McCombie running for president of Facebook Comment Land or something? ==

    Literally every GOP candidate is. I mean, this is how Trump made it to the White House.

  23. - NIU Grad - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 11:19 am:

    “it doesn’t appear the governor’s mitigation in Illinois did any good.”

    After months of telling people to disregard safeguards, they’re suddenly shocked that we still have a high death count? Are they saying that having people go to bars and restaurants will somehow reduce the number of cases and deaths? If they want to say herd immunity, just go ahead and say it…

  24. - Don't Bloc Me In - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 11:27 am:

    During the BBC News last night, it was shown that four countries have death rates over 100/1000,000, including the US. The other countries are below that rate.

    So, by Ms. McCombie’s own admission, she continues to go for cocktails in a state with one of the worst death rates in the world.

  25. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 11:30 am:

    ===this is how Trump made it to the White House===


  26. - very old soil - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 12:19 pm:

    Why is she giving her money to Iowa restaurants instead of supporting the restaurants in her district by getting takeout or delivery?

  27. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 12:19 pm:

    IL has no limits on religious gatherings and hasn’t for a long time, long before the recent restriction in CA was struck down.

    You know, I have not been going out to bars and restaurants. It’s not because I wouldn’t like to but for social solidarity and to keep myself from getting ill. I order in and curbside to keep my favorite places in business. I was never a bar goer so that’s not been an issue anyway. I do go to my vac home in Iowa, but we keep the same rule there (no restaurants, no gatherings, only necessary shopping) I’m pretty sure I am not going to seriously listen to anyone who claims they avoid the mitigations by going to other places. They have already demonstrated bad state citizenship in my book.

  28. - Eight - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 12:25 pm:

    WI has a mask mandate and not much more and they’ve run at 106/100k death rate. IL has the 8th most restrictive rules and our rate is 163/100k. That rate is 65% higher and WI didn’t destroy numerous sectors of their economy. Bad comparison. Oklahoma ranks the least restrictive and their death rate ranks just over half of what we were.

  29. - ZC - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 12:26 pm:

    It’s … just not any kind of “competition,” where individual states show off their virtue / “our tribe is more competent than your tribe” status.

    Leaving the 2020 response to Covid-19 largely up to 50 separate states, has created maddening patterns where there are enough variables where everyone can seize on something and point to someone else, “Hey, they’re more at fault than us, their liberal / conservative values failed.” I guess in some ways politicians “win,” when responsibility can be disseminated in so many directions.

    But viewing this through a prism where “Oh, let’s see if Democratic or Republican governors are better” still strikes me as kind of dumb. This virus skips across state borders at will. IL (and other states) can’t really regulate who went to the Sturgis motorcycle rally and came home maskless and shedding.

    One thing that’s clear, is we needed a much better national, coordinated response at the DC level, and we never got it.

  30. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 12:27 pm:

    ===our rate is 163/100k===

    Either you are cleverly using statistics to lie, or you’re just not very bright.

    That death rate goes back to the beginning of the pandemic, when the Chicago area (unlike Wisconsin or Iowa) was absolutely slammed, no masks were required and the science was unclear what we were even facing.

    Don’t do that again here or you’ll be banned.

  31. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 12:29 pm:

    Isn’t it time for serious people to show up? After an attempted coup and all, aren’t the adults going to show up in the GOP?

  32. - Annoin' - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 12:49 pm:

    Can’t the rep compare deeaths in IL Iowa and WI counities on the border?

  33. - allknowingmasterofraccoodom - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 12:59 pm:

    Rich @ 12:27

    Hey man, the guy is giving his opinion. Opinions are opinions. Would you seriously ban someone for what he just wrote. I mean it uses the actual numbers, not his fault he can’t really see the bigger picture. I am really just asking, as I know the rules here…..I have been reading since you actually sent me a daily fax.

  34. - Essential State Employee - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 12:59 pm:

    ==IL (and other states) can’t really regulate who went to the Sturgis motorcycle rally and came home maskless and shedding.==

    There was a “mini-Sturgis” last Memorial Day weekend at a biker bar in McCombie’s hometown (Savanna) in violation of Phase 2 guidelines that even got national attention:

  35. - Simple Simon - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 1:00 pm:

    When you get a nonsense answer in a study, it is best to check your data and assumptions then do it again. Not hit “publish.”

  36. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 1:10 pm:

    ===Opinions are opinions===

    Too many people believe their opinions are facts.

  37. - allknowingmasterofraccoodom - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 1:14 pm:

    Rich, I get it. I agree, you just don’t threaten that unless you are really cranky. And you don’t seem cranky today.

  38. - Flying Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 2:45 pm:

    “opinions are opinions”

    Actually, opinions are like Bob Dylan impersonations.

    Everybody has one, few are worth listening to.

  39. - Anonanonsir - Wednesday, Jan 27, 21 @ 3:05 pm:

    I trust the Illinois numbers far more than those of nearby states. If you have a positivity rate in the teens or twenties, you’re missing a lot of cases. It’s what Trump complained about — more testing leads to more cases found. Some states are taking the easy route.

  40. - Chris - Wednesday, Feb 3, 21 @ 3:28 pm:

    Governor Pritzker continually states he is basing decisions on “the science”. If that is true he should provide his analysis of data that demonstrates what actions are working regarding the disease and why actions are being taken in Illinois. I have not seen such an analysis from State of Illinois officials. I have seen great damage to the mental health of school children including my daughter as well as tremendous damage to small business owners. Their physical and mental health is taking a beating and as far as I can tell data regarding negative impacts of our Governor’s rules is not making its way into the Governor’s scientific review.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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