Happy Thursday, Illinois. Alinea made a Covid-themed dish and it’s not going over well (h/t Block Club).
Gov. J.B. Pritzker criticized the president of the United States in a congressional hearing Wednesday, the same day Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot rejected Donald Trump’s recommendation — threat, really — to send children back into school buildings this fall.
Either response might have seemed outrageous a year ago, but these are no ordinary times as we live amid a raging pandemic and guidance from Washington that Illinois lawmakers fear will harm the lives of citizens.
Pritzker called for a “national masking mandate” to help curb the spread of coronavirus. “It’s not too late for the federal government to make an impact. In fact, it’s more important than ever,” Pritzker said during videoconference testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security, which is examining the national response to the pandemic.
The president eschews wearing a mask and suggests doing so should be voluntary, even though health officials say it’s the best way to contain the spread of Covid-19. (Trump also discounts the use of social distancing measures, and his rally in Tulsa last month "likely contributed" to a surge in new cases there, according to the local health official.)
Pritzker’s testimony focused on the country needing a coordinated strategy and ramping up testing and contact tracing. It’s a message he’s hammered at Trump throughout the pandemic.
The governor praised the work of the CDC but said it “has been muzzled” by the White House.
As if to prove the point, the president was on Twitter Wednesday disavowing the CDC’s guidance for reopening schools amid the coronavirus pandemic, complaining about their "very tough & expensive guidelines."
In another tweet, he said, “The Dems think it would be bad for them politically if U.S. schools open before the November Election, but it is important for the children & families. May cut off funding if not open!”
Lightfoot pushed back at the idea, saying, “it doesn’t make any sense” for the president to make such a sweeping announcement when he doesn’t know how coronavirus is impacting individual school districts. “I don’t put much weight into what President Trump says,” the mayor told reporters.
The Illinois Democrats aren’t the only public officials to publicly dismiss Trump in recent weeks. As CNN’s Brian Stelter recently observed, it’s no longer uncommon to see lawmakers distance themselves from Trump. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged folks to wear masks, saying it’s “the single most important thing” to combat coronavirus. And Chuck Grassley, the Senate’s senior Republican said he’s skipping the Republican National Convention “because of the virus situation.” GOP Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney and Lamar Alexander have also said they plan to skip next month’s convention.
— Pritzker says Trump should order nation to wear masks, and he’s not the only governor saying so, reports Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles
— Lightfoot says decision to reopen schools should be a local one, by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt and Jamie Munks
— Trump wanting to reopen schools isn’t just about education, by POLITICO’s Anita Kumar and Nicole Gaudiano
Another familiar name has popped up in the Democratic veepstakes: Valerie Jarrett.
Washington Post Columnist Kathleen Parker makes the case for the former senior adviser to Barack Obama, saying, she’s “whip smart, highly trained and experienced in world affairs.”
Jarrett was “in the room,” describing her work during the Obama administration. “She’s no one’s fool and holds her cards close. While serving the president, she also pursued her own projects, speaking often on the country’s toxic politics, the need for compromise and issues of the day,” Parker wrote.
Jarrett nipped the idea in the bud, tweeting, “@JoeBiden has an embarrassment of riches!” (That was a line from Parker’s column about the number of women being considered for the VP spot.) “This chapter of my public service will be outside of government from the important office of citizen so I look forward to campaigning hard for @JoeBiden and his VP pick and helping them win in November.”
A source close to Jarrett tells Playbook that “Valerie has made clear to all who know her that she does not want her career to focus on politics—but instead service.”
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At South Shore Cultural Center to release the Covid-19 Recovery Task Force Advisory Report.
No official public events.
No official public events.
— The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 36 new deaths Wednesday to coronavirus and 980 new cases. That brings the state to 7,099 deaths and 149,432 cases in all 102 counties in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from July 1 to July 7 is 2.6 percent.
— Grim projection: 200,000 dead by Election Day: “It took just four weeks for the U.S. to jump from 2 million coronavirus infections to the 3 million mark. Most forecasters now say that, as case counts accelerate at a record pace, it will likely take even less time to surpass 4 million,” by POLITICO’s Dan Goldberg and Adam Cancryn.
— State sees biggest daily spike in Covid-19 cases in a month as Pritzker beefs up mobile testing sites: "The latest batch of cases were detected among 32,742 tests, the fourth highest total ever received by the state,” report Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout and Tina Sfondeles.
— Racial disparities follow pandemic’s path across political divide: “No matter where the virus strikes, communities of color bear the brunt,” by POLITICO’s Laura Barrón-López, Elena Schneider and Alice Miranda Ollstein.
— Covid-19 finally finds Scott County: “Well everybody was disappointed because we kind of liked being the only county that didn’t have a case, a confirmed case,” said Rex McIntire, mayor of Winchester, the 1,458-population county seat. “But we kind of also knew it was just a matter of time, so no shock or anything.” Sun-Times’ Neal Earley reports
— Fact-Check: It’s not against the law to carry a firearm while wearing a mask: “False claims being shared on social media trace back to a longstanding Illinois prohibition on individuals carrying a firearm while wearing a face covering to conceal their identity,” by Better Government Association’s Daniel Funke.
— Child care workers want better Covid protections. K-12 educators are watching: “As Chicago’s early childhood educators return to in-person learning with small groups of children, some contend that new safety measures fall short of protecting them. Staffing requirements and sick leave policies drafted before the coronavirus pandemic no longer serve teachers in the Covid-19 era, some educators say,” by Chalkbeat Chicago’s Cassie Walker Burke.
— Raoul asks Clay County judge to rule on last issue in Bailey’s lawsuit: “Until Clay County Circuit Court Judge Michael McHaney decides whether Pritzker’s April 30 emergency declaration correctly defines COVID-19 as a disaster, the state is procedurally barred from asking a higher court to reconsider the Xenia Republican representative’s lawsuit,” by Capitol News’ Rebecca Anzel.
— As museums and zoos reopen, Chicago’s children’s museums find themselves sidelined, by Tribune’s Doug George.
— For Arne Duncan, the violence killing Chicago’s children is personal: “The former CPS chief now runs a program that worked with the father of Sincere Gaston, the toddler killed by gunfire in June: ‘Seeing him in a casket several days ago — I’ve never seen a casket that small. I hope I never see one again,’” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Northside College Prep school council votes to pull police from campus: “Parent, community and teacher representatives at one of Chicago’s top high schools have voted to remove city police stationed on its grounds, breaking with tradition and stoking similar efforts at more schools, according to Northside College Prep alumni,” by Tribune’s Hannah Leone.
— My Block, My Hood, My City founder speaks on police brutality, gun violence: “Jahmal Cole’s impassioned speech at City Club of Chicago touched on police brutality, community disinvestment and what can be done to address gun violence,” by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramos.
— CPS wants federal ‘small business’ loans for charter schools investigated: “The district asked its inspector general to investigate the legitimacy of charter school applications for the forgivable loans. PPP applicants were required to demonstrate that conditions related to the pandemic made continued operations uncertain,” reports WBEZ’s Adriana Cardona-Maguigad.
— More bankruptcies, more stores closing. For some merchants, Covid was ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’: “Chains with deep roots are filing bankruptcy. Others have sped up plans to close underperforming stores. And unlike in past retail reckonings, the list of tenants that might be interested in filling those spaces, like medical offices and fitness facilities, likely has shrunk, given economic concerns as well as social-distancing rules,” by Tribune’s Lauren Zumbach.
— U of C removes two campus tributes to Stephen Douglas: “The university has taken down a bronze plaque of Douglas, and a stone from the Old University of Chicago. Both are being moved to the university library’s Special Collections Research Center,” by Sun-Times’ Jade Yan.
— Chicago Blackhawks won’t change name; promise dialogue instead: “Critics say the team’s name and logo play into racist stereotypes against Native Americans, including ‘the myth of the worthy adversary,’” by Patch’s J. Ryne Danielson.
— BREAKING: Service workers at Loretto Hospital have voted to authorize a strike. The hospital in the Austin neighborhood has served communities hit hard by Covid-19 in recent months. Details will be announced today.
— Summer already setting records as 25th anniversary of 1995 killer heat wave looms: “Chicago usually sees high temperatures in the low to mid-80s this time of year, but July temperatures are ranging in the 90s, after June tied for the sixth warmest on record here, 5 degrees above average,” by Tribune’s Kelli Smith.
… HOW HOT IS IT?: Fire department douses Cermak Road bridge after extreme heat prevents it from closing, by Sun-Times’ David Struett
— Helping businesses: More than 40 small business owners from the Auburn Gresham, Burnside, Roseland, and West Pullman neighborhoods have received grants from Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, headed by David Doig, and Small Business Repair Program, organized by activist Ja’Mal Green. They’re gathering today to celebrate at Nate Pendleton’s New Look Restaurant, which received a $5,000 grant from the program. Some other recipients: Najee Landon, Harmony Development; Melissa Gillenwater, The Taco Spot; Shantee Ross, Grandway Lash & Nail Studio; Marie Williams, Frontline Books & Kultural Emporium; Felicia Goodwin, Z Couture; and Judy Ware of Ware Ranch Steak House.
— Cook County to start dividing up ‘much-needed’ $51M in CARES Act funding: “More than 100 cities, towns and villages will receive a slice of the money, which makes up 12 percent of the total $429 million coronavirus relief fund given to Cook County under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Board President Toni Preckwinkle said at a news conference in west suburban Berwyn,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin.
— Joliet mayor: ‘Clearly, there was some improper behavior: “The video of a man who died in police custody in Joliet has led to a call for an independent investigation. Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk talked to CBS/2 investigator Dave Savini, who broke the story about the video’s existence this week,” via CBS/2. (With video)
— Black Lives Matter street art in Oak Park is defaced, by ABC/7’s Leah Hope and Cate Cauguiran
— Red-light camera business, O’Hare janitorial contractor got millions in PPP loans: “The red-light camera company entangled in a federal corruption investigation and an airport janitorial contractor in Chicago are among the clout-heavy companies getting large amounts of federal funding to weather the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents released this week by Trump administration officials. Another loan from Washington’s new Paycheck Protection Program went to the security firm owned by Sean Morrison, the south suburban politician who leads the Cook County Republicans and is a commissioner on the county board,” reports WBEZ’s Dan Mihalopoulos.
— Millions in federal COVID-19 stimulus money went to government-funded charter schools: “Hundreds of the privately run schools got the PPP money though they also got their full funding from Illinois taxpayers, Sun-Times analysis found. CPS wants an investigation,” by Sun-Times’ Lauren FitzPatrick and Nader Issa.
— The left gets rolled on legalizing pot — and legal protections for cops: “Joe Biden’s ‘unity’ task forces were created to bring the progressive wing of the Democratic Party into the fold after the sting of Bernie Sanders’ defeat. But on key policies involving the biggest issue of the day — criminal justice — the left flank got rolled,” by POLITICO’s Holly Otterbein and Laura Barrón-Lopez.
— Battle For The Amendment: “Voters will decide whether Illinois should change the constitution and create a graduated income tax system. It would replace the current flat tax that has one rate for individual taxpayers and another for businesses. This would create a system for individuals that would increase the level of taxation as the taxpayer goes up the income scale,” by NPR Illinois’ Bill Wheelhouse.
— Fundraiser for Biden: A fundraiser for Joe Biden featuring Barack Obama and Gov. J.B. Pritzker is tonight with giving levels ranging from $50,000 to $250,000.
— Op-Ed: The Sierra Club is endorsing the graduated income tax proposal.
— Cancer trials for Medicaid recipients now covered: “Governor JB Pritzker, D-Illinois, signed Senate Bill 1864 into law on Tuesday. The law makes Illinoisans on Medicaid now eligible for life-saving clinical trials to treat cancer and other serious diseases,” via WICS/WRSP.
— Opinion: Public banking can help bridge the racial wealth gap in the post-pandemic recovery: “By using public money to create local funds, public banks can reverse decades of racist disinvestment to repair Black and Brown communities hardest hit by the Covid-19 recession,” write former Ald. Ameya Pawar and Harish Patel of Economic Security for Illinois.
— Trump’s culture wars worked in 2016. His aides worry the world has changed, by POLITICO’s Nancy Cook
— Supreme Court set to decide who can see Trump’s tax returns, financial records, by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein and Kyle Cheney
…High court upholds Trump’s rollback of birth control coverage mandate, by POLITICO’s Susannah Luthi
— Key battleground states most vulnerable to cutoff in jobless aid, by POLITICO’s Rebecca Rainey
Today: The Chicago Central Area Committee hosts a discussion about “Moving Forward Amid a Pandemic, Social Unrest and Economic Meltdown.” Your Playbook host is guest speaker. I’ll also take questions. Sign up here
Today: State Rep. Terri Bryant (58th) and fellow Republican David Fries, who’s running for the 116th state House seat, are holding a meet-and-greet fundraiser (in person!) at The Pour Vineyard in Red Bud. Details here
Jamie Gathing and Mary Beth Canty have been named to the Regional Transit Authority Board. “These appointments mark the first time in the RTA Board’s history that two Black women will serve on the Board,” according to a release announcing the appointments. The appointees represent the southeast and northwest portions of Cook County respectively and are appointed by Cook County Commissioners that represent mostly suburban districts. Gathing is an attorney working as a managing VP at Northern Trust Co. She previously served as an assistant attorney general for the State of Illinois. Canty is a trustee for the Village of Arlington Heights and an attorney at Litchfield Cavo.
Hall Adams, who led Leo Burnett and wrangled its Marlboro Man, dies at 86: “Billings doubled when he was CEO during Burnett’s late golden age,” writes Crain’s Steven Strahler.
Attorney and state Board of Elections member Bill Cadigan, former Tribune overnight editor Casey Bukro, former state Rep. Kate Cloonen, Illinois native and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Isabel Rouse, leadership development fellow at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.
July 9, 2020 at 08:03AM