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*** UPDATED x1 *** Majority Leader Lightford tests positive

Wednesday, Apr 14, 2021

* Rachel Hinton

Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford said Wednesday she tested positive for COVID-19.

In a brief phone conversation with the Chicago Sun-Times, Lightford said she left Springfield, where legislators are convening for session, and returned home where she will join committee meetings through Zoom.

The Maywood Democrat said after testing positive, she was “aching an awful lot.”

Lightford is the third person connected to state government known to have contracted the virus this week.

Meanwhile, the House told lobbyists and members of the public today that they must be tested in order to access House members. However, House members have not yet been required to take any tests.

*** UPDATE *** Leader Lightford told me she had planned to be vaccinated at the same time as her husband, who needed to wait to be cleared by his surgeon after a battle with cancer. Her husband was confirmed cancer-free and got the green light on Wednesday, she said. The two planned to get their shots together when she returned from session this week.

“All of my family members and staff that I have come into contact with tested negative,” Lightford said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

25 Comments
  1. - phocion - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 10:59 am:

    Best wishes for a speedy and full recovery, Senator!


  2. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 11:03 am:

    Yikes. Had she been vaccinated? Hope she’ll be ok.


  3. - So_Ill - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 11:07 am:

    A pretty bad look IF she wasn’t vaccinated.


  4. - Levois J - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 11:07 am:

    Wow! Well we’re not yet out of this thing yet….


  5. - Ugh - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 11:15 am:

    Not a bad look if she wasn’t vaccinated. As a Black woman in a country w a history of medical malpractice against Black Americans, that’s up to her. You also don’t know, nor should we know, what health concerns anyone has that prevents them from getting vaccinated. It’s only a bad look if she was discouraged from getting the vaccine, and wanted one, and that wouldn’t be on her. Wishing you all the rest you need and a full recovery as soon as possible, Senator. We’re all thinking of you.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 11:16 am:

    My best to Majority Leader Lightford… I hope for a speedy and easy recovery for her


  7. - good luck - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 11:36 am:

    == - So_Ill - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 11:07 am:

    A pretty bad look IF she wasn’t vaccinated. ===

    You really should think before you make a statement like that. You have no idea if or why she was or wasn’t vaccinated.

    The vaccine shaming needs to stop.


  8. - DownSouth - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 11:44 am:

    Wishing Majority Leader Lightford the best of luck and speedy recovery.

    My take away from this post? Senate is handling it far better than the House. Wish House would also require the routine testing for legislators and staff.


  9. - WestBurbs - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 11:48 am:

    With all good wishes for the Maj Leader’s full recovery — it is NOT “vaccine shaming” to question those who don’t get vaccinated. While there are a very few who have medical reasons that preclude vaccination, everybody else is making a choice to put there own (likely irrational) selfish fears over the wellbeing of society as a whole. What baffles me is so many people being understanding of those refusing to take the Covid vax (even using the gentle term “vaccine hesitancy”). Most of us used to think that those who refused MMR and other vax were nuts - crazy anti vaxxers. Why not regard anti Covid vaxxers the same way?


  10. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 11:49 am:

    There is a less than 1% chance of contracting COVID after being vaccinated

    Vaccines have been available for all 177 state legislators since February

    https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2021/coronavirus-after-vaccination.html


  11. - Ugh - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 11:53 am:

    Can we just get back to wishing her well? Goodness.


  12. - SpiDem - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 11:55 am:

    So….how soon before the General Assembly shuts it all down again? You have to assume the Senator was in contact with a LOT of people this week before she left.


  13. - Streamwood Retiree - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 11:56 am:

    ==Why not regard anti Covid vaxxers the same way? ==
    Because there is no covid vaccine approved for general use and regarded as “safe and effective” The two vaccines available are approved “for emergency use only”. it’s not the same as MMR or pneumonia vaccine. They are a new technology never before approved. Notice that Governor Pritzker did not get an mRNA vaccine. he got the now banned for no good reason JNJ vaccine.

    refusing mRNA is not the same as being anti-vax.


  14. - Because I said so.... - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 12:24 pm:

    Wishing the Leader a speedy recovery. And she was an active member in committees yesterday. A true Leader.


  15. - GWTG - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 12:27 pm:

    “ Why not regard anti Covid vaxxers the same way?”

    Because all versions of the vaccine are still experimental


  16. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 12:28 pm:

    =refusing mRNA is not the same as being anti-vax.=

    Yes, it is exactly that.


  17. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 12:30 pm:

    At this time I think it is very important for our public officials in addition to the population at large to understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has several strains and that we are currently experiencing community spread from a strain that is significantly more contagious than what was spreading throughout most of 2020.

    Engaging in activities or making decisions that did not result in contracting COVID-19 during 2020 are more risky now with the more contagious variants and among non-vaccinated populations we’re going to see higher rates of infection than we did in 2020, even if the over all rate of infection for the population of Illinois at large goes down.

    We’re not through this yet and symptoms, hospitalizations, and death are lagging metrics and with this pandemic it’s like getting punched in the face but by the time you realize you’ve been punched in the face, you’ve been hit three more times and that still hasn’t even caught up with you.


  18. - wow... - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 12:51 pm:

    Uh, isn’t having an immune-compromised family member at home a reason to get vaccinated as soon as possible?


  19. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 12:57 pm:

    ===refusing mRNA is not the same as being anti-vax===

    This really isn’t the case. I understand why you’re making the distinction, and I understand the differences but the manner in which an mRNA vaccine works relies on the immune system doing the same thing to the mRNA segment used in the vaccine as the immune system would eventually do to a living or dead individual COVID-19 virus.

    Coronaviruses are RNA viruses. Instead of the vaccine injecting someone with 100% of a specific COVID-19 virus strain or multiple virus strains, scientists identified a specific segment of COVID-19 viruses which they thought would be the best section of the RNA to introduce that would allow the immune system to target known strains and strains that would be likely to evolve/develop.

    Being against a vaccine that injects a segment of RNA into your body so that your immune system can specifically target it because it’s an RNA vaccine really ignores that throughout your life you’ve been encountering completely natural methods of introducing RNA into your body in the form of viruses and that you literally can’t stop that process.

    There’s no such thing as a 100% safe vaccine. But there’s also no such thing as a 100% safe walk down a flight of stairs or trip to the grocery store. But you know what? Getting a COVID-19 RNA vaccine is a lot more safe than contracting the COVID-19 RNA virus.

    Your position is like pretending that the sun is the center of the universe is a legitimate scientific position to hold because you’re not a flat earther. Just because someone else’s reasoning is more wrong than yours doesn’t make yours correct.


  20. - Avengers - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 1:23 pm:

    Can’t say it better than Candy Dogood did. Wish Leader Lightford good health and speedy recovery. One hopes that any legislators or staff that hasn’t been vaccinated takes note that the virus doesn’t care who you are. Get protected ASAP!


  21. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 1:38 pm:

    DNA is the mail…RNA is the “Mailman”…no more or less mysterious than any other known process.

    Candy Dogood bringing the logic and science …so well.


  22. - Amalia - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 2:18 pm:

    wishing her well. but the vaccine shaming….or coaxing…must continue. come on Republicans.


  23. - Southern Skeptic - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 2:56 pm:

    I can count the number of times I’ve agreed with Lucky Pierre on one hand. I’m now adding another finger to that one hand. It’s mid-April. I’m perplexed why someone so exposed would wait this long.

    “There is a less than 1% chance of contracting COVID after being vaccinated

    Vaccines have been available for all 177 state legislators since February

    https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2021/coronavirus-after-vaccination.html”


  24. - Pundent - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 4:48 pm:

    We’ll soon be at a point where it will be easy to identify those who have made the conscious choice to risk contracting Covid. That’s what Lightfood did here. She had every reason and avenue to have obtained the vaccine some time ago. She made the conscious choice not to.


  25. - blue line - Wednesday, Apr 14, 21 @ 8:21 pm:

    so, i can’t tell from her answer if she was actually vaccinated or not. its important to know because if she was vaccinated, and still got covid, we really need to consider the pace at which we are moving things back to normal. this is NOT shaming. this is simple public health thinking.


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