Statement supporting public health-driven “Restore Illinois”

Media Contacts
Abe Scarr

State Director, Illinois PIRG; Energy and Utilities Program Director, PIRG

Illinois PIRG

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday released “Restore Illinois,” his administration’s plan to safely ease state restrictions on business, education, and recreation implemented in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The plan sets out five phases of reopening, with criteria for moving from one phase to the next, and the ability to move back if conditions worsen. 

Illinois PIRG Director Abe Scarr made the following statement in response:

We applaud Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health for following expert public health recommendations and creating a data-grounded plan to safely reopen Illinois. The governor’s realistic approach acknowledges that the state may need to update the plan based on new data and scientific analysis as it becomes available, and that authorities may need to restore restrictions if conditions worsen.

But if Illinois is to succeed at a safe reopening, it is critically important that the federal government coordinate a robust national effort to fight the spread of coronavirus, by increasing both testing capacity and the production of protective equipment to keep health professionals and other frontline workers safe. Without adequate testing capacity across state borders, Illinoisians are not safe.  And without protective equipment for front-line workers, even a flat curve will still overpower our health systems. 

States don’t fight wars, nations do.