Posted June 26, 2020
This is a station editorial, I’m Randal J. Miller, station president.
Well, the state of Illinois has moved to Phase 4 of Governor J-B Pritzker’s 5 phases established to re-open the state following the coronavirus outbreak.
I have a compliment and a complaint for the Governor.
My compliment is that COVID-19 cases across the state are far less right now, than other populous states in the country that are seeing a spike, and for that, we’re grateful.
My complaint is that when he established 4 regions of the state on May First, saying he would allow each region to move to the next phase depending on the data, it never happened. He treated the state as one.
A WCIA-TV Freedom of Information Act request for data, proves the point. Their investigation said based on data it obtained from the Illinois Department of Public Health, our region should have moved thru phases sooner because Central Illinois never got above the positive testing rate of 20 percent which was the I-D-P-H benchmark for a region to move. Data showed our region never got above 8 percent, and that was on April 2nd.
That investigation further shows that even as Chicagoland area hospitals saw the state’s largest surge in Coronavirus-related admissions, once the Governor issued his Stay-at-Home order, the medical facilities there remained above the 14 percent threshold of available ICU beds, medical and surgery beds and ventilators throughout the last several months.
The WCIA-TV investigation further shows downstate hospitals never came close to hitting the 14 percent low-water mark, being well above 30 percent availability for ventilators and beds since late March.
Hindsight is always 20-20, but the last 4 months from my perspective was nothing more than a power grab by the Governor. And, with any politician, once they’ve got power, it’s difficult for them to let go.
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