Pritzker reflects on pandemic, shares what's next for Illinois

Governor JB Pritzker spoke with FOX 32 News regarding how the pandemic has affected him and what comes next for Illinois.

For one, he is not following the lead of some other governors canceling mask mandates and re-opening everything.


While awaiting his normal turn to get his COVID-19 vaccine, the Democratic governor is lamenting those who plan never to get vaccinated or wear a mask, claiming one man made those numbers bigger.

"From the moment that Donald Trump began to politicize this virus, I have felt like, in addition to the hurricane that hit us all, we now have this added headwind," Pritzker said.

Among Republicans blasting the governor's handling of the pandemic, Congressman Rodney Davis is focusing on long delays in processing unemployment benefits.

FOX 32 asked the governor that when he hears that criticism, what is his response.

"We upgraded technology. We brought in many more people to answer phones," he said.

We also asked him how many weeks the callbacks have been.

"Depending on the type of call they're making, it can be within the day, within the week or within two weeks. For the most complex situations, we're talking about 45 days," Pritzker said. "The vast majority of states have experienced exactly what Illinois has experienced."

The governor says a hoped-for summer re-opening of the tourism-hospitality business, Illinois’ second-largest employer, is not entirely up to politicians.

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"And I think it's very important for us to recognize that there are a lot of people who are still afraid. And I don't blame them," Pritzker said.

The governor and Mayor Lori Lightfoot both say a special July edition of the Chicago Auto Show might showcase a return of tourism in the city.