Illinois Governor Says No End in Sight for Masks, Social Distancing

Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Sunday that residents of Illinois could be wearing face masks indefinitely, The Daily Caller reports. 

Pritzker spoke with CNN’s Jake Tapper about his cautious plans to reopen, saying the state will not reopen unless the standards he set have been met.

The governor explained the efforts in Illinois to implement an increase in testing as well as contact tracing, saying that he had been largely going it alone.

“I have not been counting on the White House, because there have been too many situations in which they’ve made promises not delivered. Very recently they promised a lot of swabs. They’re supposed to arrive today, the first shipment of those. I’m looking forward to that,” he said.

Tapper reminded Pritzker about the confusion over his stay-at-home order, with residents and state lawmakers filing lawsuits over the order and concerns that students may still be  distance learning in the fall to reports that churches would not be allowed to hold regular services until a vaccine was available.

“So there’s some confusion about what your goal is in terms of reopening. The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board published an editorial about your reopening plan, they write, quote, ‘he’s being more than just cautious, he’s moved the goalposts. Governor Pritzker’s stated goal was to get the outbreak under control, not eradicate Covid-19 completely. We don’t want his pursuit of the perfect outcome to unnecessarily delay the restarting of activities,’” Tapper read. “What’s your reaction to that, and what is your end goal for Illinois to go back to some semblance of normal?”

Pritzker responded by saying that the plan was already underway, noting that restaurants and bars in Illinois would likely remain closed for some time.

“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,” he explained. “We’re still going to have to socially distance. The truth is that Coronavirus is still out there.”

“It hasn’t gone anywhere. 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 everything will go back to complete normal without us having an effective treatment or a vaccine, they’re just dead wrong,” Pritzker concluded.

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About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met and married an American journalist and moved to D.C. from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A. in Graphics, Media, and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

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