Former Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner believes it’s time reopen the state amid the coronavirus pandemic, blaming politics for the decision to keep restrictions in place.
In a text message, Rauner argued that the state’s phased reopening plan is a boon for Democrats, who he says are looking to benefit politically from the coronavirus.
“Keeping economy shut (is a) Trifecta for Dems: justification for income tax hike in November, justification for federal bailout of states, (and a) horrible economy for Trump’s re-election,” the former governor said. “We’ve put this problem almost entirely on the backs of our children (who are at virtually no risk from this disease)- trillions in debt they have to pay back, lost jobs and internships, and loss of virtually an entire year of their education when you factor in 'summer loss' and limited internet and enrichment opportunities.”
Rauner called the current administration’s restrictions “worse than the disease,” and said that attempts to keep people safe from the virus are misguided.
“When did policy goal shift from ‘flatten the curve” to “keep everyone safe?’” he asks in the text messages. “The latter is not possible.”
Rauner says he has spent the last eight weeks during the pandemic with his family in Florida.
The former governor is far from alone in calling for an easing of restrictions in the state. On Monday, Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin co-wrote a letter to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, calling on Rauner’s successor to ease multiple restrictions in the state’s phased reopening plan.
The leaders called for Pritzker to switch the state’s requirements for the number of days that areas will need to see reductions in cases and hospitalizations from 28 to 14 days, and to expand the number of hospital regions evaluated as part of the plan from four to 11 to allow more areas to reopen sooner.