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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker ripped President Trump on Sunday for "modeling bad behavior" and blamed him for the spike in the state's daily COVID-19 caseload and test positivity rate.
"The president has made it nearly impossible for states to open up any more than they are now," the Democrat said during an appearance on CNN's State of the Union with Jake Tapper. "This pandemic has been around now for seven to eight months. And without much help from the federal government, we've been fighting it off."
According to Tapper, Illinois broke two records last week for the highest number of cases in a single day. Deaths in the state related to coronavirus are that their highest levels since June, and though that state's seven-day test positivity rate remains below 5% - one of the World Health Organization's benchmarks for reopening - northern areas of the state have reported positivity rates as high as 11%, according to state health department data.
Pritzker said that some of the increases are due to people "not following the mitigations" and using the president's actions as an excuse to do so.
"He's modeling bad behavior. He doesn't wear a mask in public," Pritzker said. "He has rallies where they don't encourage people to wear masks in public. Truly, this is now rhetoric that people understand, and particularly in rural areas in my state, that, 'Well, the president doesn't wear a mask, we don't need to wear a mask, it's not that dangerous.' The truth of the matter is that it is very dangerous."
Pritzker also took a line of argument similar to Trump's own to defend the record-breaking increases in the number of cases in the state.
"We also are the third-highest testing state in the country," he said. "So when you see the case numbers, it is because we're testing much more. Still, our positivity rate, which is going up, is far below most other states."
As a result of the increases, Pritzker said that Illinois has activated "resurgence mitigations," reinstating lockdown measures on a regional basis to address increases in caseloads.
Tags: News, Coronavirus, Illinois, Donald Trump
Original Author: Tyler Van Dyke
Original Location: 'He's modeling bad behavior': J.B. Pritzker blames Illinois COVID-19 spike on Trump