CHICAGO (CBS) — Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday angrily lambasted critics he said have harassed his children, and spread lies that his own family has been publicly flouting coronavirus restrictions he has ordered for the state, prompting his wife and daughter to spend Thanksgiving away from the spotlight in Florida.
A day after declining to say whether or not he would be celebrating Thanksgiving at home – just as he has advised all Illinois residents to avoid travel and stay home for the holiday – the governor said his family won’t be together for the holiday.
Pritzker said he and his son will be celebrating at home in Chicago, while his wife and daughter will be in Florida, and will stay there indefinitely.
“I was taken aback by yesterday’s question about my holiday plans, in part because my wife and I were in the process of making the very hard decision that we may need to celebrate Thanksgiving apart from one another for the first time ever, and it was weighing heavily on my mind,” he said.
The governor explained that his wife and daughter will be staying in Florida indefinitely, because his daughter last week “came under attack in an attempt to have some political effect on me.”
“A parody Twitter account posted a picture of a group of individuals eating outside a Chicago restaurant, supposedly breaking the COVID rules the city put in place,” Pritzker said.
The governor said the person who posted the picture falsely claimed his daughter was in the photo of a large group of people seated together without masks.
“That was a lie,” he said, adding that his office issued a statement that his daughter was not in the group.
“That didn’t stop Republican elected officials a network of propaganda publications in the state, and some radio shock jocks from telling people that the picture was of my daughter, despite knowing that this was a lie,” the governor added.
Pritzker said his daughter received several “hateful messages” after the picture was shared on Twitter, and that an attorney who has filed multiple lawsuits challenging the governor’s authority to issue COVID-19 restrictions beyond his original 30-day disaster proclamation even posted a “bounty” on Facebook, offering money to harass the Pritzker family on Thanskgiving.
“An actual cash bounty, including my kids, harassing them. My high school-aged kids. Put yourself in the shoes of a high school girl who is being weaponized against her father by his political opponents; weaponized with lies,” Pritzker said.
The governor said he receives daily threats at his office, and noted some protests of his coronavirus restrictions have even carried anti-Semitic rhetoric and signs comparing Pritzker, who is Jewish, to Adolf Hitler.
“This kind of vitriol is apparently what I have to deal with to keep the state and its people safe, but my kids? My kids are off-limits,” Pritzker said. “Just like all of you, I want to be with my family for the holidays, and just like all of you, because of COVID, my family is having to make sacrifices to stay safe. This is not a political fight, this is a fight to save people’s lives. Let’s remember that as we enter the holiday season.”
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News,Region: Chicago,City: Chicago
via Chicago Breaking News from CBS Channel 2, WBBM-TV
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November 17, 2020 at 04:18PM