coronavirus

Mayor Lightfoot Reacts to Long Lines at O’Hare Due to Coronavirus Screenings

"Not only are you creating a disaster, not only are you creating a hazardous circumstance that threatens the public, you risk causing serious illness and death," she said, addressing the Trump administration

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot addressed her concerns and disappointment Sunday regarding the "exceedingly long lines" and several hours' waits reported at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport Saturday night due to enhanced coronavirus screenings.

"This is utterly unacceptable, going forward, we have to turn in a different direction and I specifically want to address these comments to Vice President Pence and members of the federal coronavirus Task Force," Lightfoot said.

"Not only are you creating a disaster, not only are you creating a hazardous circumstance that threatens the public, you risk causing serious illness and death."

In a tweet Saturday evening, airport officials said processing was taking longer than usual due to the screenings.

"We've strongly encouraged our federal partners to increase staffing to meet demand," the tweet read.

Lightfoot went on to address the Trump administration at Sunday's press conference stressing that "if you do not listen, and you do not bring us along on the journey first, where we can give you constructive input on how those directives will actually be playing out at the local level, you’re going to see more disasters like last night that are solely the responsibility of the federal government not listening.”

Airport officials said personnel, the Salvation Army and Chicago police officers distributed snacks and water to travelers waiting to get through customs' processing.

Photos: ‘Utterly Unacceptable’: Lightfoot Reacts to Exceedingly Long Lines at O’Hare Airport Due to Coronavirus Screenings

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker also took to Twitter Saturday evening blasting President Trump and his administration as the news was unfolding, with travelers sending in photos and complaining on officials' counter-productiveness in its new screening measures.

President Trump on Saturday announced the United States will broaden its European travel ban, adding the United Kingdom and Ireland to its list of affected countries.

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