During a Washington Post live stream, Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker blamed President Donald Trump for “fomenting” protests and violence over extended shelter-in-place orders in his state.
Washington Post political reporter Robert Costa, asked Pritzker if he believed Trump was stoking “civil unrest.”
“I’m very disappointed with the rhetoric and messaging coming from the President,” Pritzer said. “When [Trump] tweets out ‘Liberate Michigan,’ or ‘Liberate Minnesota,’ or ‘Liberate Virginia,’ he’s fomenting protests, and I hate to say, that is fomenting some violence.”
— Washington Post Live (@PostLive) April 21, 2020
“What do you think it could mean down the line?” Costa asked.
“It’s a political maneuver in the middle of a national emergency…but it could mean terrible things. You could end up with violence. You certainly are seeing that,” Pritzker said. “People are believing his rhetoric, even repeating the rhetoric that he had a month or so ago when he was calling this a hoax.”
As The Federalist’s Tristan Justice writes, “Trump however, made no such claim,” about the alleged “hoax” Pritzker claims.
“In fact, at least five independent fact-checkers have rated Democratic accusations that Trump characterized the novel Wuhan coronavirus a ‘hoax’ as false, including PolitiFact, Snopes, FactCheck.org, Check Your Fact, and even the Washington Post, which gave the claim its highest single false rating awarded by the paper of four ‘Pinocchios.'” he writes.
The federal government has been insisting people follow their state’s mandated stay-at-home orders, a suggestion that is often made at the White House’s daily coronavirus task force briefings by the president and other members of the task force.
Illinois instituted a one-size-fits-all policy on all of residents, regardless of their city or county’s population density. Pritzker instated a stay-at-home order for the population dense area of metro-Chicago as well as the rural areas in southern Illinois. These mandates lock down the entire state to avoid the spread of coronavirus, which some researchers have found to more easily transmitted in overcrowded or dense cities. Such plans impact rural workers ability to work and provide for themselves and their families, despite a lower risk of infection.
In Springfield, Illinois, approximately 20 people attended a protest of the intense lockdown. The protests in Michigan and Illinois were peaceful demonstrations, neither were violent as Pritzker worried in his Washington Post interview.
Instead of pointing the finger at Trump or peddling false media narratives, the Midwestern governor should consider his state’s need and reevaluate their one-size-fits-all state-wide mandates.