Illinois has proven that measures againt COVID-19 work

I am writing in response to Darren Bailey’s column in the EDN edition of July 1. (“Leadership is lacking in Illinois.”) He wants our Governor to stop restrictions now in place, secondary to coronavirus, because we no longer have to worry?

Mr. Bailey rails against the number of COVID-19 related deaths, implying that the number is elevated because if coronavirus is listed on the death certificate and that they had another disease, that maybe they really died from that other disease. In the July 1 online edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the argument is made that, based on observed deaths from other years, it is likely that the death rate reported from coronavirus is only two thirds of the actual count, since people who died at home were often not counted and that some deaths from coronavirus occurred before the realization that coronavirus was present. The real number of deaths due to COVID-19 is likely under reported by a large number. Who do you believe?

Mr. Bailey then goes on to discuss the devastating effect of COVID-19 on the economy, somehow due to Governor Pritzker. The worst state economy right now, according to Wallet Hub, is Florida. Why is that? It may have something to do with sky rocketing cases in Florida of COVID-19, due to early reopening, as is also seen in Texas and Arizona.

Illinois, under restrictions from Governor Pritzker, is now recovering with only 30% of the daily cases from its peak 57 days ago. Forty percent of the U.S. population has now seen reopening postponed or halted, according to Goldman Sachs. Not in Illinois. Postponed or delayed opening is not good for the economy.

I am afraid what Mr. Bailey is confused about is that the economy is devastated from COVID-19, not from executive orders and social distancing. Until COVID is under control, the economy will not recover. Since there is no cure or vaccine, control means wearing a mask, which has been proven to work in numerous studies, and social distancing.

In Illinois, we have proven that these measures work, and we are recovering. We are one of two states that met all five CDC and WH guidelines for recovering by following Mr. Pritzker’s Executive Orders. Ask the folks in Arizona or Florida how their economy is recovering and see what they say.

Coronavirus will not, unfortunately, just go away Mr. Bailey. Please be helpful and wear a mask.

Dr. Daniel Niebrugge, Effingham

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