Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Sunday pushed back against criticism over his cautious plans to reopen, saying the state will not reopen unless the standards he set have been met.”We are being very careful,” the Democratic governor told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “We’ve done a lot to make sure we’re keeping these numbers moving in the right direction. And we will not reopen unless we meet all of the standards that I’ve set for doing so.”
His comments come as states begin lifting restrictions and reopening their states. Pritzker issued a modified stay-at-home order that went into effect on May 1 and goes through the end of the month. On Tuesday, he also announced a five-phase reopening plan and said phase 3 of the plan — when manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons can reopen, with restrictions — won’t begin until May 29 at the earliest.
He has been criticized over his stay-at-home order, with residents and state lawmakers filing lawsuits over the order. The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board on Wednesday wrote that Pritzker is “being more than just cautious, he’s moved the goal posts” with his reopening plans and said they did not want the governor’s “pursuit of the perfect outcome to unnecessarily delay the restarting of activities.” Asked about the editorial, Pritzker told Tapper: “I think the Editorial Board of the Chicago Tribune didn’t read the plan.”
“We’re still going to have to socially distance,” he said after mentioning the phases of his plan. “The truth is that coronavirus is still out there. … And so we all are going to have to change the way we do things until we’re able to eradicate it.”
“If the Chicago Tribune thinks that everything will go back to completely normal without us having a very effective treatment or a vaccine, they’re just dead wrong,” he said.
Illinois has the fourth-most coronavirus cases in the country, with more than 76,000 confirmed cases and at least 3,300 deaths, according to the latest tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Actually, I am certain the Tribune’s Editorial Board read his plan– it’s more likely that Gov. Pritzker does not like criticism … even when it is deserved. A 12-18 month re-opening plan will completely crush whatever is left of Illinois’ economy & cause incredible human suffering. #BalanceIsNeeded