Gov. J.B. Pritzker called a state representative’s lawsuit against the state’s stay-at-home order a ‘cheap political stunt’ as Illinois has surpassed 2,000 COVID-19 related deaths.
“This was a cheap political stunt. Designed so that the representative could see his name in headlines, and unfortunately he has briefly been successful in that most callous of feats,” Pritzker said during his daily press conference on Tuesday.
On Monday, Clay County, Illinois Circuit Court Judge Michael McHaney granted a restraining order against all of Pritzker’s stay-at-home orders, including the newest one set to go into effect on May 1.
The order only applies to State Representative Darren Bailey, of Xenia, Illinois, who was the one that filed a lawsuit on Thursday.
“For those unfamiliar, the 109th district happens to have among the lowest hospital bed availability and ventilators in the state, making it uniquely ill-equipped to respond to a surge in cases,” Pritzker said, referring to Bailey’s district.
Pritzker said that his office and the Illinois Attorney General are appealing the decision in court and he is “reasonably confident” it will be overturned.
“My lawsuit asks the court to find that Gov. Pritzker overextended his power by issuing additional ‘stay at home’ orders after his original disaster proclamation, which expired on April 9, 2020,” Bailey said.
“While special emergency powers were granted to the governor through the Emergency Management Act in the late 1980’s by the Illinois General assembly, the unprecedented power and authority he wields under the current crisis calls for an immediate review and reconsideration of legislative intent,” Bailey said.
Bailey filed his lawsuit as an individual, which means that the restraining order only applies to him; however, anyone in the state can file a lawsuit as well.
On Monday, Pritzker said that Bailey’s decision to file the lawsuit was an “insult to all Illinoisans” who have died during the pandemic.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced 2,219 new coronavirus cases and 144 additional deaths on Tuesday. The state’s total is now 48,102 positive cases and 2,125 deaths.
14,561 people were tested for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, officials said. The total number of people tested so far in the state is at 242,189.
4,738 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, which is up from 4,672 on Monday. Approximately 25% of those patients were in the ICU.
IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike said that 49% of people who tested positive for COVID-19 reported having no symptoms and feeling recovered after two weeks.
61% of the cases who were between 2-4 weeks from their positive test reported being recovered. After more than four weeks from their positive test, more than 74% of the respondents reported being recovered.
“I hope that is encouraging news, that people do recover. We mourn the loss of all the lives and we’re sorry for all of those who had to endure a battle in the hospital but a majority of the individuals do recover,” Ezike said.