Remember in July when Illinois’ COVID-19 numbers were looking great? Hospitalizations, deaths and case numbers had all plummeted.
It was his mask mandate that made the difference, he said. “We instituted [his mandate to wear masks] in Illinois on May 1st, one of the first in the nation, and it aligns with our most significant downward shifts in our infection rate,” according to his testimony.
That was then and this is now.
Illinois like most of the nation is seeing a serious surge in Coronavirus. Why? Trump, according to Pritzker. He went on CNN Sunday to tell the nation that it’s because Trump is “modeling bad behavior. He doesn’t wear a mask in public. He has rallies where they don’t encourage people to wear masks in public.” Pritzker also blamed unnamed “Trump allies in our state” who, he said, are “urging people” to not pay attention to social distancing and other rules.
Come on now. Trump has always been pretty disdainful of masks and distancing, and so has a substantial part of the population. Has that really changed in a way that explains the recent surge?
And, by the way, Pritzker’s original claim that his mask mandate accounted for the improvement we had over the summer is demonstrably false. The numbers just don’t line up. Infections turned down well before his mask order went into effect on May 1. We laid it out in detail in July and June.
I for one haven’t formed an opinion about what is causing the new surge, but I know who I won’t trust for guidance.