Sen. Stewart, Rep. Cabello statement on Governor Pritzker’s Coronavirus announcement

State Senator Brian Stewart, R-Freeport, and State Representative John M. Cabello, R-Machesney Park, issued the following joint statement today in response to Governor JB Pritzker’s announcement over the weekend on actions the state is taking regarding the Coronavirus pandemic:

“On Sunday Governor JB Pritzker ordered bars and restaurants closed in the state of Illinois commencing Monday, March 16th through Monday, March 30th as a latest response to the Coronavirus. To bureaucrats and billionaires two weeks without a paycheck is nothing. In fact, the bureaucrats’ paychecks are guaranteed by the taxpayers of Illinois, unlike the cooks, the servers, the dishwashers, and the owners of those bars and restaurants.

The Governor will defend his decision by claiming an “abundance of caution” and citing his “emergency authority”. Under those conditions what is next? Are we going to close the grocery stores, the pharmacies, the marijuana stores, factories, and other businesses? It is noted that the Governor did not postpone the election while other states did so.

In the days after 9-11 and the attack on the twin towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC there was a lot of uncertainty and a monumental crisis across the nation. Our leaders at that time worked to assure the nation that there would be a concerted effort to return to normalcy. Here in Illinois our leaders are seemingly paralyzed with fear and fueling uncertainty.

Real leadership demands a measured response to this crisis. It is pretty clear that those among us who have underlying illnesses and who are in an advanced stage of life are the most vulnerable to the Coronavirus. All efforts should be made to make sure that this demographic is monitored and that their chances of exposure are limited.

Our concern with the Governor’s response to the Coronavirus is that it is incoherent and reactionary and that the trajectory he is on could lead to some permanent damage to the Illinois economy and the confidence of the people of Illinois. We urge the Governor to proceed with the same caution that all of us have been advised to do when dealing with the Coronavirus. Governor Pritzker, please don’t kill the patient.”