Critics fire back after street-partying Lightfoot tries to enforce new holiday-hindering lockdown
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is poised to enforce another lockdown and new social distancing orders after a new spike in coronavirus cases could reportedly see an additional 1,000 people dead by the end of the year. The order will be in place for at least 30 days and city officials are now telling residents to “cancel traditional Thanksgiving celebrations.”
“If things don’t take a turn in the coming days, we will quickly reach the point when some form of a mandatory stay-at-home order is all that will be left,” Gov. Pritzker said at a coronavirus briefing in Chicago on Thursday. “With every fiber of my being, I do not want us to get there. But right now, that seems like where we are heading.”
“This is serious life and death,” Lightfoot said during a press conference discussing the state-at-home advisory, adding that the city is “doing what is necessary” to slow the spread of the virus. “We are sounding the alarm that we are at this inflection point where we have to do more than we’ve already done.”
This new mandate moves from an advisory on a ‘six-people or less’ policy, to a ‘limit in-house guests to ‘essential workers only’ one. That would include healthcare workers or childcare providers.
“If we continue on the path we’re on and you and me and others don’t step up and do more, our estimates are that we could see 1,000 more Chicagoans die from this virus by the end of the year,” the mayor said in a statement Thursday.
Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker have not shut down businesses again but individuals are being advised to only leave their homes for work, to attend school, seek medical care, shop for groceries and prescriptions, or to pick up takeout food. The order comes just days after she joined large crowds celebrating Joe Biden’s election victory which is getting intense backlash from her critics. They took notice of what they considered to be blatant hypocrisy.
“This is a great day for our city. This is a great day for our country. We get to take our democracy back,” Lightfoot shouted into a megaphone while the crowd around her cheered.
“Democratic Hypocrisy – Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot joins thousands in the streets to praise Joe Biden; 1-week later she issues an order telling people to stay home, stop having guests over, and cancel traditional Thanksgiving plans,” Washington Examiner contributor Mark Vargas said.
“4 days after Mayor Lightfoot addressed a huge crowd (maskless) to celebrate election results, she announced a stay-at-home advisory for Chicago. Numbers are out of control, the advisory might be smart! But needlessly hurt her credibility with this,” Dispatch reporter Declan Garvey stated.
“Whoa who is this unmasked speaker shouting into a super spreader event crowd? Someone call security!” attorney Harmeet Dhillon exclaimed.
“This is OK but Thanksgiving isn’t? Again it’s the disgusting hypocrisy of America’s political leadership that has contributed to a lack of trust in health guidances at the exact moment that trust is needed. The Crowds Good / Crowds Bad stance depending on politics has cost lives,” Washington Examiner reporter Jerry Dunleavy summarized.
— Lori Lightfoot (@LoriLightfoot) November 8, 2020
Lightfoot was asked why she hasn’t shut down “nonessential” businesses yet and she responded, “This is a progressive step. I hope we don’t have to go any further than this.”
“If the possibility of 1,000 more people dying in the city in the next seven weeks doesn’t grab you by the throat as it did me when I started seeing that modeling, then there’s little we’re going to do to move you,” she stated.
12,702 new and probable cases are now being confirmed for Thursday according to the Chicago Tribune, smashing a record set the previous day.
“Major portion of that spread is happening in our homes and private venues, with the friends and family, who we love and trust in these spaces people feel safe we/you feel safe, and you let your guard down. And you’re not as diligent,” Lightfoot said. “We have to stop and reverse this trend in order to save lives.”
– Stay home unless for essential reasons
– Stop having guests over—including family members you do not live with
– Avoid non-essential travel
– Cancel traditional Thanksgiving plans
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) November 12, 2020
Lightfoot removed her mask as she was delivering the bad news and she also spoke of the coronavirus while applauding the win of the Biden-Harris ticket, saying, “We need resources to fight this plague.”
City officials plan to deploy roughly 2,000 city workers, including up to 550 contact tracers, and a network of hundreds of community-based organizations to reach Chicagoans about the risk of COVID-19.
The mayor also warned that if offices, salons, and theaters did not strictly adhere to capacity limits, there would be consequences.
“If we see you violating these rules in any way, we’re not going to hesitate to take action,” she admonished.
Earlier this year, Lightfoot received heavy blowback during Chicago’s first spike in cases when photos of her surfaced having her hair cut without wearing a mask, at a time when hair salons were deemed “unnecessary” and shut down.
Ironically, the photo surfaced just days after Lightfoot released a PSA telling women that “Getting your roots done” was not essential.
I don’t have much time to myself these days, but I felt I needed to make sure everyone knows how I feel about this Stay at Home Order. Which one motivates you the most to stay at home? #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/pDbCdySMQk
— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) March 30, 2020
Chicago will remain under the new Stay at Home decree until the infection rate, which is said to be hovering around 14 percent, decreases.