Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot took to the mean streets of the west side to warn residents about holding house parties despite her stay-at-home order. She said “we are never getting out of this” if residents continue flouting social distancing rules.
Lightfoot made her remarks in an “impassioned” speech standing on a west side street corner.
Four days ago, a video of a house party near where the mayor gave her speech went viral and set off politicians across the state.
Video from a house party on Chicago’s Northwest Side last weekend went viral and drew national attention to the city as well as condemnation for the partygoers from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Lightfoot. On Saturday, Lightfoot warned that continued parties could prolong the stay-at-home orders and social distancing rules that are making many residents restless.
Governor J.B. Pritzker was not pleased.
Addressing the video during his COVID-19 briefing Sunday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, said the partygoers seen in the video “violated not only the intention of the order that we put out but also violated the trust of friends and family.”
“I have not seen the video though I did hear about it,” Pritzker said. “First, I want to remind everyone that by doing that, by standing together, not social distancing, many people not wearing masks, you’re literally putting everyone around you in danger. They are putting you in danger and, very importantly, all of those people are putting their families and their friends who are not there with them in danger.”
Here’s the kicker: Lightfoot has the cops roaming the streets looking for illicit gatherings. Don’t the police have anything better to do than looking to break up house parties? Given the city’s sky-high murder rate, you would think they’d have other priorities.
As for Lightfoot, she begged the kids to think of saving the summer. Chicago Tribune:
“We all need to be thinking about the long game, and having these parties when we need people to continue to stay at home is just silly. What’s it going to mean? It’s going to mean we are never getting out of this,” Lightfoot said. “Your actions are going to make a difference between whether or not we get out sooner or later, whether or not we have a summer or we do not. It’s absolutely essential that we stay the course and people stay home.”
Lightfoot also noted that the coronavirus has hit African Americans disproportionately, but quickly pivoted to lecturing.
“When you go out and party, when you go home to your momma, your grandma or anybody in your household who has an underlying medical condition, you are bringing death to their doorstep, make no mistake about it,” Lightfoot said. “If you care about them, you will stop this foolish, reckless behavior.”
People who are restless should call their friends or go on the social media platform Tik Tok, she said. But those who are hosting parties are going to face consequences, Lightfoot said.
In other words, the skewed death rates from coronavirus for blacks are not a matter of “racial disparities.” It’s a question of simple human stupidity.
And she threatened to throw people in jail for not complying with her orders. “Don’t make us treat you like a criminal, but if you act like a criminal and you violate the law and you refuse to do what is necessary to save lives in this city in the middle of a pandemic, we will take you to jail, period.”
There have been more than 38,000 confirmed cases in Cook County with 1657 deaths. The daily death rate has slowed slightly over the last few weeks, but the city appears to be stuck in a trough. More than 100 are dying every day with no end in sight.
Lightfoot is frustrated but throwing kids in jail for having a party is not the answer. It’s hard work to try and talk to teenagers about anything and even harder when they don’t want to listen. But locking them up instead of trying to reach them is the lazy way out.
Lightfoot should reconsider her threat.
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