Illinois governor says masks and social distancing orders will continue indefinitely, until vaccine


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Illinois residents may not be seeing an end in sight any time soon for coronavirus orders in their state.

Governor J. B. Pritzker doubled down on the lockdown orders in his state, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that Illinois residents could see weeks of social distancing and wearing masks until he feels the coronavirus is “eradicated.”

(Source: CNN)

The Democrat governor, who has come under fire over his stay-at-home order, announced a five-phase reopening plan and an updated order at the beginning of the month which goes through at least May 29.

“We are being very careful,” Pritzker told Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday.

“We have a 28-day period in May in which we’re monitoring these numbers. On May 1, I changed our stay-at-home order to make sure we reopened our state parks and kept people socially distant, put a lot of rules in. We opened golf courses, but only for very small groups going through it, no carts, everybody has to have their own clubs and everybody has to have masks,” he added.

“Everybody across the state has to wear a face covering in public,” the Democrat said. “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.”

He claimed the state was “going it alone” as they have “not been counting on the White House, because there have been too many situations in which they’ve made promises not delivered.”

Tapper noted there was “some confusion about what your goal is in terms of reopening,” citing a piece by The Chicago Tribune editorial board last week that criticized Pritzker for “being more than just cautious, he’s moved the goal posts,” adding that his “pursuit of the perfect outcome” should not “unnecessarily delay the restarting of activities.”

“I think the Editorial Board of the Chicago Tribune didn’t read the plan,” the governor told Tapper.

“We are currently in phase II of my plan, still under a stay-at-home order,” he added.

“Phase III, which would come if we meet these standards I’ve set out, is the next phase but doesn’t reopen everything. Restaurants and bars, unfortunately, would remain closed until we can see how we do in the next phase,” he continued.

“Phase IV is just the phase before we would have a vaccine, assuming we maybe never get a vaccine, we’ll have to deal with hopefully a treatment that will come along that will be very effective, but even without that, everyone’s going to have to wear a mask,” Pritzker said. “We’re still going to have to socially distance. The truth is that coronavirus is still out there. It hasn’t gone anywhere.”

He added that “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 everything will go back to complete normal without us having an effective treatment or a vaccine, they’re just dead wrong,” Pritzker concluded.

Illinois has more than 77,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and at least 3,400 deaths, according to the latest tally by Johns Hopkins University.

While Pritzker continues to impose stringent orders on residents in his state, the billionaire Democrat refuses to answer questions about sending his wife and children out of state and to their $12.1 million equestrian estate in Florida.

“What is your response to people who say the state home order and non essential travel bans aren’t being abided by your family?” Mark Konkol with The Patch asked the governor at a press conference last month, citing a recent report about the issue.

“Well, first of all, I want to say that in politics it used to be that we kept our families out of it,” Pritzker responded. “My official duties have nothing to do with my family, so I’m just not going to answer that question. It’s inappropriate, and I find it reprehensible honestly that that reporter wrote a story about it.”

Fed up residents have been filing lawsuits in Illinois to push back against the governor’s lockdown and Twitter users called out the latest phased re-openings in the state.


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