During his daily COVID-19 address today, Governor J.B. Pritzker directly addressed comments made a Texas Lieutenant Governor who said residents of Texas would sacrifice their lives to save the economy. To that, Pritzker said, “I’m not willing to sacrifice anyone.”
On Monday night, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick told Fox News on Monday, “I’m not living in fear of COVID-19. What I’m living in fear of is what’s happening to this country. And you know Tucker, no one reached out to me and said, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival, in exchange for keeping the American that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’ And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in.”
Those comments come at a time when Illinois raised its COVID-19 count today, announcing another 250 cases, bringing the full cases to 1,535 cases overall with 16 deaths, all but one of which were over the age of sixty.
Pritzker says despite comments from the President, there is no answer to the “How long is this going to last?” question, “The honest answer is, we don’t yet know. I know that’s hard to accept, but it’s honest, and I’m determined, to be honest with you above all else.”
COVID-19 cases now stretch across 31 counties. Grundy County was among those newly named counties; their Health Department announced its first case earlier this morning.
“You cannot fight a fire blindfolded,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a COVID-19 press conference on Monday. Illinois is not, with cases expected to climb with new testing sites open now in Bolingbrook, Northlake, and Joliet.
Bridgen. Gen. Richard Neely said during today’s COVID-19 briefing each facility can test up to 250 people each, with expanded setup. The Federal testing site at a Joliet Wal-Mart closed minutes after opening due to a lack of tests. The National Guard is assisting in testing where possible. When asked if the National Guard may bring help to relieve overworked Healthcare workers, Bridgen. Gen. Neely replied, “We understand that some of these vital medical folks are being pulled out of some of the hospitals, we’re trying to balance that and make sure that we’re not pulling too many and that we’re able to put that at the right balance.
“What we had, usually, when we stop look at it, things like hurricanes and that. They strike a portion of the country and sometimes we can go and pull from another state. This is like a hurricane hit all fifty states at once. So now, we’re really working on what we had in our boarders as the Illinois National Guard in that capability.
We’re working hard to make sure we’re balancing and providing that support where we can, bringing unique capabilities to support those front line first responders.” Neely explained.
Governor Pritzker said over 3,000 ventilators and 300,000 masks would be arriving in Illinois, based off assurances President Trump made with him on a call late last night.
The Governor reinforced his stance for the President to invoke the National Defense Production Act in America. “Of all the reasons the Federal Government exists, this is the most important, and the most basic. We are on a war-time footing right now.”
Tomorrow’s COVID-19 press conference is scheduled for 2:30 pm. Listen and watch live on Illinois dedicated Coronavirus website, coronavirus.illinois.gov.