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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Wants Bars and Restaurants Open ASAP

Lori Lightfoot, the mayor of Chicago, on Thursday called for bars and restaurants to be open at limited capacity “as soon as possible,” and said she would speak to Illinois governor JB Pritzker about the matter. The second round of shutdowns began in October as COVID-19 spread in the city and state.

Per Block Club Chicago, Mayor Lightfoot said she is “very, very focused” on getting bars and restaurants open, and pointed out that they can be operated more safely for patrons than the underground parties that have proliferated in shutdown.

“If we have people and give them an outlet for entertainment … we have much more of an opportunity, in my view, to be able to regulate and control that environment,” Lightfoot said. “Let’s bring it out of the shadows. Let’s allow them to have some recreation in restaurants, in bars, where we can actually work with responsible owners and managers to regulate and protect people from COVID-19.”

There are going to be a lot of people who call Mayor Lightfoot a hypocrite here and say that she is one of the Democrats who wants to reopen now that Joe Biden will soon be replacing Donald Trump as president so there is a need to rebound the economy, not tank it. To be fair, while Mayor Lightfoot was a major proponent of the first round of lockdowns back in March, she did plead with Governor Pritzker not to shut down bars and restaurants before this latest round. As someone who lives in Chicago, I hope her pleas are more successful this time because last time they fell on deaf ears.

Nonetheless, it does feel like the tides are turning against lockdowns. Earlier this week, in his address to the state, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said that “we simply cannot stay closed” until everyone is vaccinated:

That definitely represents a change in tone from someone who was ardently in favor of shutdowns previously. It should be noted that, according to data released in December, when Governor Cuomo closed indoor dining again, contact tracing showed that bars and restaurants in New York accounted for just 1.4 percent of cases. I am profoundly hopeful that the combination of vaccine rollout and sensible re-opening will lead us to a much happier world by this summer.

Written by Ryan Glasspiegel

Ryan Glasspiegel grew up in Connecticut, graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and lives in Chicago. Before OutKick, he wrote for Sports Illustrated and The Big Lead. He enjoys expensive bourbon and cheap beer.

29 Comments

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  1. Surprise surprise — now that her preferred candidate is about to take office, time to lift the lockdowns. Lockdowns don’t work when it comes to stopping the virus; look at California. They have the strictest lockdowns in the country, yet their COVID cases are higher than ever. They’ve only crippled the economies of blue states.

  2. “If we have people and give them an outlet for entertainment … we have much more of an opportunity, in my view, to be able to regulate and control that environment,” Lightfoot said. “Let’s bring it out of the shadows. Let’s allow them to have some recreation in restaurants, in bars, where we can actually work with responsible owners and managers to regulate and protect people from COVID-19.”

    we have people
    give them
    able to regulate and control
    allow them
    regulate and protect

    Look at how these pols speak. Like people are their pets. Disgusting.

  3. The American people have been bitch slapped the whole year with phony lock downs the masks etc it was all political right out of the gate hope everyone is paying attention what the govt knowingly did to its citizens disgusting and dangerous.

  4. How can politicians can get away with making such blatantly idiotic and hypocritical statements? They have a media who protects them. Reporters sit there nodding along taking notes like it’s a dinner order if it comes from the left. If a Republican said the same exact thing as Lightfoot they’d be criticized as reckless and would have their reasoning and motives held in question. Our media has become a tragic, corrupted, joke. It’s a PR firm for one party and an IRS auditor for the other. Pathetic.

  5. Chicago is a mess. Homicides on the west & southside are out of control. Also, residents are fleeing due to taxes & crime, upscale Mag Mile risks turning into Dollar Store Mile due to crime that goes unpunished, and police are retiring or moving, leaving the force seriously undermanned. Not to mention their fiscal & pension deficits. Of course, the plan of their brilliant citizenry will be to vote for the least abled Democrat in the city for mayor, and a brazen, incompetent prosecutor who lets everyone out of prison, even violent offenders, to promote “social justice”. Unfortunately, there is no justice for the 700+ victims (almost all of them black, some of them children) who were shot dead on the street last year. The media, who loves race stories, strangely ignores this one. Hmmm…could it be the race of the perpetrators doesn’t fit their narrative?

  6. First Gov. Cuomo and now Mayor Lightfoot. The virus knows that the best and brightest now mean business and it will simply go away (in two cold weather areas in January). Last week Gov. Cuomo allowed 6700 fans to go to a football game in Buffalo. Not 6701 because that would have been careless. This virus can actually count. It’s easy to follow the “science” when science means that you can do whatever you want when it comes to foisting never ending restrictions on the people you supposedly serve. I feel badly for the residents who didn’t vote for these so called “leaders”.

  7. I’m not sure if Ryan understands that Mayor Lightfoot pleads publicly for the Governor to open bars and restaurants on TV, but prior to the plea she makes a phone call to said Governor and lets them know what she is doing is just to try and get reelected.
    Ryan go back and watch the Wire (seasons 3-4) and you will see how big city politics works.

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