When it comes to Illinois and mask guidelines, the motto apparently seems to be “Let’s see how far we can go.”
More specifically, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is mandating indoor masks and proof of vaccination for all students and educators from kindergarten through college, as relayed by the Chicago Tribune.
“Let’s be clear, vaccination is the most effective tool we have for keeping people out of the hospital and preventing deaths,” Prtizker said, offering no evidence to support his claims. “Nearly all Illinoisans who are hospitalized with COVID are the Illinoisans who are not vaccinated. And those hospitalizations are only increasing.”
Before, it was masks that supposedly prevented the spread. Now, it’s supposedly masks and vaccine. So Prtizker wants everyone 2 and older to be masked indoors. Prtizker also went as far as to say that COVID-19 is “a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
This is a bit of an about-face for the governor, as the Tribune noted.
“The Democratic governor’s announcement came only days after he said he had no plans to expand a vaccine mandate beyond state and private workers in congregate settings, such as nursing homes, prisons and veterans’ homes,” the Trib wrote. “Those comments came Monday following the federal Food and Drug Administration’s full use approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which had previously received FDA emergency authorization during the pandemic.”
As an aside, the Pfizer vaccine has been fully approved by the FDA only for those aged 16 and above. Such authorization has not been granted by the FDA for vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
Needless to say, the mandates aren’t sitting well with every Illinoisan.
“Republicans have chafed over a lack of input into Pritzker’s executive actions amid a Democratic controlled General Assembly generally satisfied with ceding authority for the pandemic response to the Democratic governor,” the Tribe wrote.