State Representative Margo McDermed, along with a number of House Republican legislators, today sent a letter to Governor Pritzker urging him to adjust the timeline of his re-opening plan. The letter echos similar sentiments sent to the Governor by Senate Republicans last week.
“Pritzker has said that politics shouldn’t guide health decisions, if he truly believed that he would not be so unyielding in the face of new information learned about coronavirus,” Rep. McDermed said.
In recent weeks the World Health Organization has said that the virus does not easily spread on surfaces and that asymptomatic people are significantly less likely to spread the virus than previously believed. In light of this and Illinois’ significantly low virus figures, such as positivity rate and hospitalizations, House Republicans are demanding that the Governor utilize a 14 day timeline going forward, as opposed to his own 28 day metric. The 14 day guideline is used by most other states in the nation, including all those in the Midwest, which have re-opened quicker without significant ill effect.
The letter also called out the hypocrisy of the Governor out for supporting the protests, for a good and understandable cause, of the last few weeks, but not the many unemployed and those watching their livelihoods whittle away.
For the sake of the mental, physical and overall well-being of the residents of the state and the recovery of the state as a whole, House Republicans are calling upon the Governor to move the state forward immediately.
The text of the letter reads:
Illinois House of Representatives
June 12, 2020
Governor JB Pritzker
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Dear Governor Pritzker,
We are writing to you today to urge you to move Illinois forward to Phase 4 of your Restore Illinois plan, as was also requested by many of our fellow legislators in the Senate. You have stated that you are consistently relying on the science to back up your plan, which now simply does not add up. It has been reported that positivity rates are way down, as are hospitalizations due to COVID-19, including in northeast Illinois. Most, if not every, other state is using a 14-day guideline to move forward, not 28, and other states in the Midwest are completely open or further along than us without dire effects.
There is no science behind allowing people in retail stores but not allowing them into a restaurant. One of our members recently visited a hospital and saw staff eating in the cafeteria, while socially distanced; thus indoor dining cannot be the problem. The last few weeks have seen protests across the state for a great cause, including the one you attended in Matteson amongst hundreds, if not thousands, of people. But yet, under your declared parameters, some businesses remain shuttered, others are too limited in their allowed capacity to fare well, they are suffering and some barely getting by, if they are even able to do so. Each day that we delay safely moving into the next phase, Phase 4, another business(es) closes, more jobs are lost and the mental, physical and overall well-being of the residents of our state will continue to worsen due to unemployment and loss of industry, not to mention near and long term loss of revenue to the State. We cannot continue to abide by flawed reasoning until the previously determined Phase 4 date of June 26th, which was set before we obtained the information we have today.
We have all heard from countless constituents, including business owners, who are struggling to get by or deciding to leave. Unemployment issues have been a constant issue for months now, with some people still without checks and little to no relief or answers from your administration. We cannot continue this way any longer. This is crushing our people, our businesses, and our economy. We must move forward in getting Illinois back to business.
We ask that you reduce the timeline to move our state forward to reopening. If our state is going to recover, we must move forward now and start Phase 4.