Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker clashed with a local reporter on Tuesday while discussing COVID-19, with the governor slamming the reporter for “spreading misinformation.”
After a press conference in Chicago where Pritzker signed legislation expanding access to mental healthcare, the governor took questions from reporters.
WIND reporter Amy Jacobson, who has criticized the mask mandate on her Twitter feed, asked Pritzker about whether he would shut down in-person learning at schools again should COVID-19 numbers continue to rise.
Although adamant he would not want to do such a thing, Pritzker did not rule out a move should a “widespread” outbreak occur.
“If all of a sudden we started to see that there was a widespread delta— or something that was overcoming, for example, the vaccine that people have already taken, and sending people to the hospital who are already vaccinated, then we would have to look at a whole new set, the bottom of the list, you know things that we left far in the distance last year — that we might have to revisit those things. But that’s not something that I would say is highlighted on that menu of options,” Pritzker said.
As the governor concluded his remarks and stepped away from the podium, Jacobson fired back: “You had a protest out there this morning and parents were crying, screaming ‘oh my God’ — you know as governor you should try and calm people’s nerves maybe, or can you because there are low-risk groups.”
Before Jacobson could finish, the governor’s press secretary, Jordan Abudayyeh interrupted: “Amy, as a supposed reporter, you should probably stop the misinformation, we are done here. Thank you. You know how you prevent schools from being closed? You stop complaining about the mask-wearing.”
“Send me some studies,” Jacobson responded.
“It’s called Google,” Abudayyeh shot back.
Visibly frustrated by Jacobson’s comments, Pritzker returned to the podium to push back against her line of questioning.
“You are spreading misinformation. I wish you would stop spreading misinformation. You come in here with a political agenda and you spread misinformation and I just think you should stop. We now need to protect our children. We need to protect the people in our communities. Parents, grandparents, teachers — you are working against that. And it is extremely upsetting for all of us who are trying to keep the rest of the state safe,” Pritzker concluded.
This, right here, is *exactly* how you deal with rightwing reporters more focused on spreading misinformation than keeping people alive.
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) August 26, 2021