COVID-19 rules apply to all Illinoisans, with exceptions for some political figures

COVID-19 rules apply to all Illinoisans, with exceptions for some political figures

Some of those leading Illinois’ response to COVID-19, or those close to them, have not exactly been following the rules about staying home and social distancing.

“Rules are rules,” but maybe less so when you are one of the rulers.

Exceptions to the COVID-19 emergency orders have popped up recently involving community leaders, leaving those following orders to stay home understandably miffed.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker for a third time issued emergency orders, extending to May 30 the time Illinoisans must stay home and avoid contact. He was asked April 29 whether his wife, M.K. Pritzker, left Illinois to ride out the pandemic at their $12.1 million equestrian estate in Florida.

Pritzker refused to answer, calling the story that she had been spotted there “reprehensible.”

By contrast, when Alton Mayor Brant Walker told police to crack down on local bars refusing to follow the COVID-19 closure rules, his wife turned out to be one of the partiers early April 5 at Hiram’s Tavern. Alton’s police chief called him at 1 a.m. that Sunday, and Walker said he told the chief to “ensure that she received no special treatment.”

Shannon Walker was ticketed along with the others for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. Brant Walker the next day publicly apologized to the city.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot in early April got a haircut, and her stylist noted her work for the mayor on social media. The haircut came as Lightfoot was admonishing Chicagoans that “getting your roots done is not essential.”

Lightfoot defended the cut, and said her stylist wore a mask and gloves.

“I’m the public face of this city. I’m on national media and I’m out in the public eye,” she said.

Lightfoot was next involved with decrying a house party packed with young people, few of whom wore masks, as “foolish and reckless.” It turns out the party was at the home of Chicago Fire Department Cmdr. Christine Matthews and thrown by her son, Janeal Wright, 26. It was livestreamed on Facebook.

“I’ve been totally oblivious to the stay-at-home message and everything,” Wright said afterwards as he apologized for the party in another livestream.

Regardless of one’s opinion of Pritzker’s executive orders, compliance subject to political influence is unacceptable.

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