By: Mark Glennon*

Let’s start with a central claim Governor JB Pritzker made Wednesday in his testimony about COVID-19 policy before the United States House Committee on Homeland Security: “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,” he said.

That’s simply untrue and his own administration’s data show why. Infections turned down well before his mask order went into effect on May 1. We laid it out in detail in early June.

The evidence of the day-to-day course of the virus closest to being timely is hospitalizations for it, as Pritzker himself has said. Deaths provide another index. However, hospitalizations and deaths lag the actual course of the virus, and that lag time is provided directly by the Center for Disease Control. Adjusting for those lags shows that the virus peaked in Illinois around April 15 or April 18 – before the mask order even went into effect.

Progress from the mask order would not have shown up until mid-May, which is when Pritzker’s “science and data” projected the virus would peak. Those projections are now proved to have been wrong even before they were announced. Our full analysis, using the state’s own numbers and the CDC adjustments, includes the details.

Gov. JB Pritzker testifying remotely

And what about Pritzker’s suggestion for going forward, which made national headlines — a federal mask mandate for the whole nation?

In his testimony Pritzker said, “If there’s one job government has, it’s to respond to a life-threatening emergency. But when the same emergency is crashing down on every state at once, that’s a national emergency, and it requires a national response.”

But remember what he said in April when President Trump and Vice President Pence were roundly rebuked – properly – for claiming that the federal government could override state emergency orders and reopening plans? Pritzker was among the critics. “Well, I think [Trump] is going to issue some advice about it, but it is true that it’s up to the governors to make decisions about the executive orders we put in place,” Pritzker said.

And Pritzker says Trump alone should issue the national mask order, with no legislation. Executive authority for that is highly questionable. On executive power, at least he is consistent. It’s also his position that he can micromanage much of the state through an emergency order he claims can be renewed for as long as he alone chooses.

Watch the video of the rest of his testimony and you will see that the gist of it is that, when the federal government failed, it was his administration that stepped up with the right response, which is how much of the press summarized his testimony. When asked later to elaborate on what lessons Illinois officials gained from handling the pandemic, Pritzker offered no specifics, saying only, “There’s an awful lot of learning that’s taken place from March until now, so yes I think we’ve created a path for someone in the future to follow.”

His leadership showed the country how to do it, in other words.

But here’s what Pritzker didn’t tell Congress: Illinois has suffered 42% more deaths per capita than America as a whole. Per 100,000 of population, 58 Illinoisans have died from the virus but just 41, nationally. Yes, the virus is spiking in states like Florida, Texas and Arizona, but their deaths per capita remain far behind Illinois’ at 19, 10 and 28, respectively, per 100,000.

Given that record so far, nobody should be telling Congress that Illinois provides the model for others to follow.

Another matter Pritzker omitted is the growing question of whether lockdown orders make a difference at all. As we have often written, many experts have found it hard to match state and national success fighting the virus with current or prior emergency rules; the virus seems to have a life of its own, often surprising the experts.

A good, current illustration is California, which is also among the states where the virus is surging, though it has had strict lockdown rules.

The latest evidence on that issue is particularly intriguing. It’s a study authored by two University of Chicago economists, one of whom is Austan Goolsby, who served on the Council of Economic Advisors during the Obama Administration.

They concluded that it’s individual choice that determines how people have conducted themselves during the pandemic, not rules. Legal shutdown orders account for only 7 percentage points of what was a 60 percentage points drop in consumer traffic due to the virus, they found.

That conclusion is consistent with another recent study in Wisconsin that we wrote about. It found virtually no change in social distancing behavior after the Wisconsin Supreme Court voided the state’s shutdown order on May 13.

****************

The truth is that the verdict is still out on much of what works, and Illinois is certainly not in a position to be telling Congress that it knows. What we can say for certain is that the entire nation at all levels of government – as well as most educational institutions and many businesses — were tragically unprepared. That failure most clearly includes the absence of any planning for what levels of government are responsible for what – the very issue on which Pritzker plays both sides.

Let’s hope that, when this is over, a quality review is undertaken that produces a useful assessment akin to the 911 Commission’s report. Hopefully, it will be free of self-aggrandizing politicians who have plagued the debate so far.

*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints.

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Out of IL
3 months ago

Exactly what is Pritzker’s financial interest in PP gear? I know he says his finances are in a “blind” trust and Trump says the same, but I’ve seen several stories about his investments in companies providing masks, gowns, etc.

David
3 months ago

Remove Prickster

Mark
3 months ago

Too bad they did NOTHING with the 9/11 commission report. They know it, but refuse to act on it.

Tom Paine's Ghost
3 months ago

Isn’t lying to Congress a crime? Or are criminal charges only filed against Republicans and supporters of the president?

Why hasn’t Christine Blasey Ford been charged with perjury? And Adam Schiff? And William Brennan? And Joe Biden? And Barack Hussein Obama? And Hillary Clinton?

Last edited 3 months ago by Tom Paine's Ghost
Doly
3 months ago

So now the virus is inexplicable and the experts can’t tell why some places have more cases of the virus than others. Well, then the explanation must be God. God must hate the places where there is more virus, especially those where it doesn’t go away. God must love China, dislike New York, and hate Phoenix, Arizona with a passion. Unless you have a better explanation. Hey, here’s a better explanation: the virus is explicable and the experts know what to recommend, you just dislike the explanations because you, the author of this article, prefer Americans to die, for some… Read more »

Richard Poo Millersky
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark Glennon

I don’t think, there’s any way of knowing how COVID-19 will go. It seems some states and countries have increases.
(@_@)

Bill
3 months ago
Reply to  Doly

Dolly:

I come from a very large, extended family, why is it that I only personally know two people that have been afflicted in this “pandemic”? I have been asking other people the same question and pretty much get the same answer. I mean everyone knows of the Cuomo and Pritzker nursing home victims but other than that, where are all the people that we should know that have this affliction?

Last edited 3 months ago by Bill
Curious Karl
3 months ago
Reply to  Bill

All depends on where you live Bill. My family ain’t been as lucky as yours – no deaths but quite a few sick. Most are living in NY/NJ/PA.

Also, I have neighbors and members of my church who have been ill (and with family members in other states that have died), so kudos to you.

RegularGuy55
3 months ago

Pritzker is ever the opportunist. Bashing President Trump plays well with his core constituency. Whether his anti-Trump rants have any truth or not is irrelevant to his devotees. He failed to mention that he tried to rewrite State law and grant himself powers that the General Assembly never gave him. He had the option to amend or replace the law during a special session of the legislature in May, but he chose not to. Instead he pursued his own ego-driven path of arrogance and continued to defy State law. It took a ruling by a State of Illinois Circuit Court… Read more »

Dreaming of Indiana
3 months ago
Reply to  RegularGuy55

He has a very small base.

No one supports this Gov.

rick1099
3 months ago

Dont bet on that. There’s a place called Cook County/Chicago that would vote for Bubblehead in a minute no matter what a crook and obscene human being he is.

Curious Karl
3 months ago
Reply to  rick1099

Sadly, you are correct.

Bill
3 months ago

The BLM’rs do…

Mary Jo Dominick
3 months ago

I personally believe we will never get a handle on it! I believe it’s germ warfare,!!!!! It ain’t over yet nor do I think it will ever be over!!!!! Justice my opinion!!!!!

SayNoToJB
3 months ago

I am in a perpetual state of bafflement – JibberBlubber is a goof. He is capable of standing in front of a microphone and blabbering on, but he really says nothing. He isn’t very sharp – in fact, he is like a marionette or a ventriloquist’s doll. The fact that ANYONE would try to argue to the contrary simply evinces their own simpleness.

Freddy
3 months ago
Reply to  SayNoToJB

The person behind the curtain pulling the strings is Madigan. JB is very limited to what he can say or do without the Speakers express authorization.

Pugdaddy
3 months ago

This man should be removed from office now! He does not care about Illinois.

Bill
3 months ago

My God; that man is the spitting image of Porky Pig!!

…or is it time to get new glasses?

DantheMan
3 months ago

So many comments here are focused on their hate of Pritzker and fail to see the big picture. The battle for Illinois is over and our side lost. To stay and fight the liberals in Illinois reminds me of the Japanese soldier hiding in a foreign jungle after 1945. He simply didn’t know the war was over and his struggle served no purpose.

SayNoToJB
3 months ago
Reply to  DantheMan

True. I am planning my exodus. However, I will not go mutely – he is a duplicitous POS and until the ink is dry, I will fight.

Joe Blow
3 months ago
Reply to  DantheMan

spot on IMO

Aaron
2 months ago
Reply to  DantheMan

Wow! Sad but true. Those who remain in Illinois are just slaves to a corrupt political machine oiled by union and corporate kickbacks.

Roadkill
3 months ago

Will the U.S. Attny indict Pritzker after raiding his home for lying to Congress (by omission and commission) like Roger Stone? Or is that only for Trump friends and Republicans?

d anna martusciello
3 months ago

I cant even stand to look at him and the sound of his name makes me want to spit nails.He is a disgrace to our nation along with Deblasio (not a real Italian, pos changed his name) and newsome in cali. All the Democratic (demoncratic states are suffering have you noticed) and something definitely needs to change and that is get them the hell out before they completely destroy us. INDICTMENTS in order Porky as someone called him is profitting lots from this planned demic as he owns the co that make the tests. also the brick company that was… Read more »

Miller
3 months ago

It would be interesting to see just how involved Porky P in profiting from this virus. He’s got companies involved in producing/storing masks and breathing devices, producing the medical forms and data entry of these forms. So it goes without saying, he’s profiting every day.
Let’s not forget he’s Hyatt Hotel too. How did he get the old Crook County hospital building and convert it to his hotel, smack dab in the middle of the medical complex???
This guy is a constant liar, he’s a criminal.

solumn
3 months ago
Reply to  Miller

How would you ever know? His investments are all offshore….

Gene
3 months ago

Thank you very much for keeping us informed !

Patricia Boswell
3 months ago

Thank you. It felt good reading a truthful report in your closing sentences you gave hope. Many of us need that these days.

Dale
3 months ago

Great article! Pritzker is such a pompous ass! Can’t tell he has his eye on being President can you? Did he touch on how much his companies have made due to COVID testing? I bet not!

Sue
3 months ago
Reply to  Dale

How much do you think Trump and his cronies are making off the virus??

Judith Meadows
3 months ago
Reply to  Sue

Hes not allowed during his presidency

Land of Delusion
3 months ago
Reply to  Sue

Trump Derangement Syndrome is still virulent I see. So with absolutely no evidence or source, unlike with JB , you throw an unsubstantiated accusation out there. Grow up!

Aaron
2 months ago

TDS is the true pandemic

Paul
3 months ago
Reply to  Sue

The emoluments horse left the barn a couple years ago…..

Susan
3 months ago

What if we could unite our nation against our common enemy, corrupt politicians? Their divisive rhetoric pits citizen against citizen according to irrelevant factors (race or religion or sex or sexual orientation). The division then serves to empower and enrich the corrupt politicians promulgating and exploiting the division. For one example, the source of continuing police brutality against citizens is most rationally explained by police unions protection of the few members who are bad actors. Corrupt politicians are believed to have a corrupt symbiotic relationship with unions. Therefore, the problem should be re-framed and the objects of hatred and rage… Read more »

Curious Karl
3 months ago
Reply to  Susan

Yes!!!

Irene Griffith
3 months ago

This governor is so full of himself and thinks his money can buy everything! He takes off to other states and puts us on Lockdown! Such a hipocrite!

someone
3 months ago

He would not know the truth if it bit him in his —

UnclePugsly
3 months ago

We are seeing play out in real time what happens when someone grants themselves ‘executive powers’ forever – Tyrant.

Fur
3 months ago

The 911 Commission report was a charade but I see your point. Great stuff as per.

Freddy
3 months ago

There is a good article at Bloomberg July 10 entitled Beware a $12 trillion pension revolt against low rates.

DantheMan
3 months ago

Lying is acceptable in the liberal mind. Illinois is a liberal state and no matter how hard conservatives wish this wasn’t so, that’s just the way it is. Illinois belongs to liberals. I therefore suggest that conservatives ask themselves, “Don’t we believe that the majority has the right to make the rules?” If you’re honest with yourself, you know it’s only fair that the liberals get to make the rules, even if that includes lying. Eventually they will destroy each other along with the state. As the minority you can’t fix that outcome and life will be easier if you… Read more »

Tony Streenz
3 months ago
Reply to  DantheMan

I agree with you on all but one thing. Illinois isn’t a liberal state, Chicago is, and it’s dragging the rest of the state down.

DantheMan
3 months ago
Reply to  Tony Streenz

Last time I checked, Chicago is still in Illinois.

Debbi
3 months ago
Reply to  DantheMan

No I don’t have to accept it. I can leave it to all the stupid people who voted for him. And I am leaving the state. Moving back to Missouri where conservatives are welcome.

DantheMan
3 months ago
Reply to  Debbi

Debbi, that is an excellent plan. I also left Illinois.

Leslie
3 months ago

Gov Pritzker has an over blown opinion of himself. He just lost a lawsuit filed by Bailey for over extending his authority to issue orders on covid it expired in April. His shut down listed weed and liquor shops as essential (meaning paying taxss) and churches (non tax paying) are non essential. Weed has only been legal 6 months but it’s essentisl? Then his “scientific experts” advised no fishing alone, walking in a park alon, or no more than 2 to a bost even if you have a family of more than 2. And last but not least, he did… Read more »

Irene Griffith
3 months ago
Reply to  Leslie

Well said

Thomas Mitchell
3 months ago

Commenter Mike is incorrect. I don’t know who Underwood is up against, but it’s not Ives. Jeanne Ives (R) is challenging Rep. Sean Casten (D) in IL’s 6th Congressional District.

Mike
3 months ago

That is correct.

It’s Lauren Underwood v Jim Oberweiss in the 14th Congressional District.

https://ballotpedia.org/Lauren_Underwood

The 14th and the 6th border one another.

Maty
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Vote Oberweiss out! He has been no help to Illinoisans, and he has profited, also, from this scamdemic. He receive mucho $$$ in federal money for his business, and he himself is a millioner.

Mike
3 months ago

Democrat US Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14) is the Vice Chairwoman of the 31 member House Committee on Homeland Security.

https://homeland.house.gov/about/membership

She questioned JB Pritzker during that hearing.

https://underwood.house.gov/media/press-releases/homeland-security-committee-hearing-governor-pritzker-witness-underwood

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSNx2Fmyjpk

Representative Underwood has a background in healthcare.

https://underwood.house.gov/about/biography

Her Republican opponent in the November 3, 2020 general election is former State Representative Jeanne Ives.

http://www.jeanneforcongress.com