Illinois Governor JB Pritzker on Tuesday abruptly changed his view on when the coronavirus will peak in Illinois from April to mid-May. That’s despite earlier statements that the curve seemed to be bending.
Why? When asked for numbers or projections he declined to provide anything, as he always has. Nor did he offer any explanation of why his previous science, which he repeatedly says he relies on, turned out wrong. His projected needs for hospital beds, ICU units and ventilators also proved vastly beyond anything needed so far, the cost of which is yet to be known.
Pritzker did say he is likely to modify the stay-at-home rules, and the scope of those changes may turn out to be important. Still, by moving the goal post out, he is setting the stage to extend his emergency powers beyond April 30 when they are due to expire.
So far, I have seen only one reporter challenging Pritzker to put up his basis for the change — Mark Maxwell at WCIA. Today he tweeted, “if you suddenly pivot and move your peak date back by a month, you owe the public a thorough explanation.”
That’s exactly right. I can’t say when I expect the peak will come and that’s because we are not getting the facts, models and projections released for review. Pritzker is again asking us to just trust him. Sorry, nobody should just trust any politician on this.
I can speculate, however, about Pritzker’s true reasoning behind his decision: polls.
Only 27% of Democrats and 32% of unaffiliated voters think it is time for America to get back to work. That’s according to a Rasumussen poll but many others report similar conclusions.
The science I suspect he is using, in other words, is checking which way the wind is blowing.
For details on other wrongheaded thinking about how we are addressing this issue and the frightening results that might ensue, see my recent article linked here.