Despite Biden saying ‘pandemic is over,’ Pritzker reissues executive orders, though rules relaxed for K-12 staff

(The Center Square) – While the President of the United States says the pandemic is over, Gov. J.B. Pritzker continues his COVID-19 executive orders, though they continue to unwind.

President Joe Biden was recently asked by 60 Minutes if the COVID-19 pandemic is over, given the first Detroit Auto Show is happening after three years.

“The pandemic is over, we still have a problem with COVID, we’re still doing a lot of work on it but the pandemic is over,” Biden said.

In Illinois last week, Pritzker reissued his latest 30-day disaster proclamation that began in March 2020. He modified one significant executive order, saying childcare and K-12 educators and staff no longer have to prove vaccination status or test twice weekly.

“I continue to urge everyone in the state to stay up to date on vaccines and boosters, including getting the recently released bivalent booster shot,” Pritzker said. “Although the current state of the pandemic is very different than it was two years ago, we still need to protect the most vulnerable members of our community as we continue to be responsive to the changing challenges and evolutions of this virus.”

Republican opponent state Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, said it shows the mandates lacked substance.

“That is 100% the message,” Bailey told WMAY. “I have been sayin this since May of 2020 when I sued him and won that suit and yes it’s election season. He’s thinking the people of Illinois will simply forget and move on and that’s not going to happen.”

Bailey said Pritzker’s actions don’t recognize the damage mandates brought.

“He destroyed lives. He destroyed schools. He destroyed futures. He destroyed businesses,” Bailey said. “People of Illinois aren’t forgetting this anytime soon.”

From telehealth provisions to masking requirements in certain congregate settings, Pritzker last week reissued eight executive orders that are set to expire on Oct. 15.