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Chicago mayor late to looting party, but ‘did chase the gays from the Lake front,’ says Richard Grenell

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Former acting Director of National Security Richard Grenell clapped back at Chicago’s controversial Mayor Lori Lightfoot, for publicly chastising and targeting mostly white, gay sunbathers for alleged coronavirus social distancing and mask violations while ignoring thousands of rioters who looted portions of the downtown area Sunday.

In a Twitter post, Lightfoot panned scores of peaceful sunbathers enjoying the clear, summer weather on Saturday, suggesting that she personally ensured they were dispersed.

She also threatened to reimpose COVID-19 restrictions, which in the past have included mandatory closures of beaches, gyms, restaurants, and other businesses and gathering areas deemed ‘non-essential.’

“It’s called a pandemic, people. This reckless behavior on Montrose Beach is what will cause us to shut down the parks and lakefront. Don’t make us take steps backwards,” the mayor threatened.

“In case you were wondering, I stopped by to see for myself. It’s being addressed,” she added.

The gathering took place at Montrose Harbor, the Chicago Tribune reported, adding that within hours of ensuring that the party was broken up, fencing was installed.

“The Chicago Park District installed fencing at Montrose Beach to deter large gatherings like those observed (Saturday). While the lakefront trail is open, Chicago’s beaches and parkland east of Lake Shore Drive remain closed under the Chicago Department of Public Health’s executive order,” Michele Lemons, a Park District spokeswoman, wrote in an email.

By the next morning, the paper said, the trail was also being blocked by Chicago P.D.

“The fencing will remain in place indefinitely to remind the public of the restrictions implemented as part of the City’s ongoing COVID response plan,” Lemons added.

But for hours Sunday night and into Monday morning, police presence was largely absent as rioters and looters broke into scores of high-end businesses and shops on the Gold Coast and along the Magnificent Mile — chaos that Lightfoot appeared to skip.

The hypocrisy was noted by Grenell.

**Warning: Strong language

“Welcome to Chicago. It’s complete anarchy,” Human Events editor Ian Miles Cheong wrote in a tweet containing a clip of some looting.

“Absolute chaos in downtown Chicago with more overnight looting and vandalism in the Loop. Appears to be coordinated effort with minimal police presence,” added Ryan Baker, an anchor for CBS Chicago.

Possibly thousands of people were captured on video looting scores of businesses including Nordstrom, Walgreens, Macy’s, Coach, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

Some observers noted that looters appeared to be very organized, with some bringing in U-Haul trailers and trucks to take away merchandise.

While Democrat mayors look the other way as rioting and looting destroy blocks of businesses, their cities are more likely to experience lasting economic impacts, experts note.

Following the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in 1992, the city lost billions in revenue after scores of businesses were looted and destroyed. Victor Matheson, professor of economics at College of the Holy Cross, said the impact likely lasted a decade.

“Economic activity in the areas affected didn’t return for at least 10 years,” he told the news outlet Marketplace. “If people don’t feel safe where their businesses are, then they don’t feel a need to rebuild.”

Matheson and a colleague compared the damage caused by the King riots with that of Hurricane Andrew in Miami and found that the latter area recovered much more quickly.

In addition to the loss of businesses, these Democrat-run cities also risk losing their tax base. In June, USA Today noted that one-third of Americans living in riot-torn cities were considering relocating.

“People will be much more cautious about living in high-density areas with so many people nearby” after the dual hit of coronavirus shutdowns and rioting, Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, said.

“Those who are left behind will find themselves living in grimy, crime-infested places, plagued with virus outbreaks and violence,” noted Forbes writer Jack Kelly.

“This will push even more people to leave, creating a downward spiral for the viability and habitation of the cities and increase the populations of states that offer a higher quality of life,” he added.

Jon Dougherty

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