CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker's Thanksgiving plans have become the subject of a back-and-forth on Twitter that involves U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville.
Pritzker and other elected officials, including Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, have pleaded with residents to stay home and avoid gathering with people indoors, including scrapping traditional Thanksgiving plans.
On Monday, the Democratic governor appeared to hesitate when asked whether he'd be staying in Illinois to celebrate the holiday after he and Illinois Department of Public Health officials have been urging Illinois residents for weeks to rethink their Thanksgiving plans and gather virtually because of rising COVID levels.
Davis on Twitter said: "Unbelievable. Even @GovPritzker won't commit to following his own guidance. For the rest of us, 'stay at home' doesn’t mean 'pick which mansion you’d like to spend your holiday.' More hypocrisy from our out-of-touch Governor."
The governor has faced criticism when his actions have appeared to contradict the public health messages he's conveyed during his coronavirus briefings, such as when he participated in a large demonstration for racial justice following the death of George Floyd or when he took to the streets to celebrate Democrat Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election. In both cases, Pritzker wore a mask while in public.
Pritzker later said he will be apart from his family during the holiday and plans to spend Thanksgiving with his teenage son in Chicago while his wife and teenage daughter will stay in Florida “indefinitely.” Pritzker owns an equestrian farm in Florida.
Pritzker spelled out his family’s decision during a Tuesday briefing with reporters in Chicago where he became visibly agitated and paused to compose himself. He said his family has faced unfounded scrutiny and threats, including on social media, for not adhering to social distancing measures.
Unbelievable. Even @GovPritzker won't commit to following his own guidance. For the rest of us, "stay at home" doesn’t mean “pick which mansion you’d like to spend your holiday.” More hypocrisy from our out-of-touch Governor. https://t.co/hAmFKJ60uz— US Rep Rodney Davis (@RodneyDavis) November 16, 2020
The social media posts say his daughter went out with a group of friends in defiance of Chicago COVID rules. The governor said his daughter is not the person shown in a photo circulating on social media
Recently, an attorney who has brought lawsuits against Pritzker’s COVID-19 orders offered $1,000 to those providing footage of “Pritzker out celebrating Thanksgiving with friends and family,” according to a Facebook post.
Pritzker called that a "bounty."
PRITZKER TALKS ABOUT THE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS HERE:
On Tuesday night, Anne Caprara, Pritzker's chief of staff, posted a series of tweets about what she said led to Pritzker's comments. She also posted about Davis, saying: "Here is where the right wing outrage machine really grinds into action, breaking through to 'mainstream' Republicans. @RodneyDavis - who likes to talk a lot about “civility” - posted this after the presser yesterday."
READ THE TWEETS HERE
I want to take a moment today to talk about how the right wing misinformation machine works, how it churns up outrage, how supposedly “civil” Republicans fuel it...and what the real world consequences are for innocent people caught in its trap.— Anne Caprara (@anacaprana) November 17, 2020
Davis, who earlier this month won re-election to Congress, has called for more civility in politics. Davis was one of the lawmakers present at a 2017 shooting during a Congressional baseball game practice in suburban Washington, which authorities determined was politically motivated.
State Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, on Twitter said: "Congressman Davis talks a lot about the need for everyone to dial down over the top, personal political rhetoric infecting politics, harming society, & preventing us from getting good things done. He’s right. But civility actually begins w/ elected leaders first walking the walk."
On Tuesday night, Davis posted a response to Manar.
"Happy that @GovPritzker decided to follow his Thanksgiving guidance, but he's the one not walking the walk. He limits the size of gatherings, yet parties in Chicago after the election. He wants to raise taxes, yet rips toilets out of his mansion to avoid taxes. That's hypocrisy."
Happy that @GovPritzker decided to follow his Thanksgiving guidance, but he's the one not walking the walk. He limits the size of gatherings, yet parties in Chicago after the election. He wants to raise taxes, yet rips toilets out of his mansion to avoid taxes. That's hypocrisy. https://t.co/DhBafDGQfC— US Rep Rodney Davis (@RodneyDavis) November 17, 2020
The Associated Press and Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.
Here are the 10 categories of new statewide COVID restrictions announced Tuesday
Bars and restaurants
Health and fitness centers
Indoor recreation, theaters, cultural institutions
Meetings, social events and gatherings (including weddings, potlucks, etc.)
Organized group recreational activities (sports, indoor sports and activity facilities, etc.)
Personal care service
Retail (including service counters)
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