TMA Objects to IL Governor Pritzker’s Five-Phase Reopening Plan

SCHAUMBURG, IL – The Technology & Manufacturing Association, an association of nearly 700 manufacturing companies with more than 30,000 employees in the greater Chicago region, today called on the Illinois General Assembly to immediately convene and review Governor J.B. Pritzker’s plan for reopening Illinois.

Science and precision engineering are at the heart of modern manufacturing, and with this background, TMA members have significant reservations about the effectiveness and wisdom of the governor’s Five-Phase Plan.

At a minimum, the General Assembly needs to hold public hearings on the plan and the likely effects of that plan on the citizens of the State of Illinois.
Serious questions need to be answered by the governor’s administration in public hearings before the elected members of the Illinois Legislature.

1) Precisely who are the “experts” he refers to that are guiding the governor’s COVID planning?
2) Who are the economic advisors that are a part of the governor’s planning team?
3) Why is the administration unwilling or unable to share basic source data for their fatality and case count?
4) Why is there a significant divergence between the administration’s COVID-19 fatality numbers and those reported by the Centers for Disease Control?
5) Will the governor’s office release the expert reports, documents, and detailed statistical model they are using for projecting the risk to Illinois citizens?
6) Is any other state, or any other country, planning to extend their police powers until there is a vaccine?
7) What statutory authority is the governor acting under that allows him to unilaterally extend his emergency police powers and project them indefinitely?
8) What has been the economic cost to Illinois citizens of the governor’s emergency actions to date?
9) What is the daily cost of extending the governor’s shelter in place?
10) How many Illinois families are unemployed because of the emergency response?
11) What is the status of the thousands of Illinois workers trying to claim benefits under the administration’s backlogged unemployment system?
12) How is the State of Illinois going to be able to pay costs already incurred for extraordinary COVID-19 expenses and the governor’s plan to set up a new contact tracing program?

Illinois citizens are suffering from more than just the risk of infection. One in five Illinois workers is unemployed, negatively impacting them and more than a million families throughout the state. It is past time that there was a public explanation and discussion about the future direction of the state and the freedom of its citizens.

The governor’s administration well knows that the single largest group at risk are those who reside in Illinois Department of Public Health licensed and regulated long term care facilities. The IDPH should be regularly reporting on their efforts to secure this most vulnerable population.

It is both wrong and cruel to lead the Illinois public to believe that government action can prevent future COVID-19 deaths. It is well past time for the administration to stop trading in fear and report statistics in a measured, comparable, and verifiable manner. No other state in America we are aware of is threatening its citizens with police action to limit their freedom of association, assembly, and movement until there is an “effective treatment” or a vaccine.

Illinois borders five other states, has the second-largest interstate network in America, is the railhead to the nation, and is home to both O’Hare and Midway airports. We find it hard to conceive of how Illinois will benefit from extreme response measures that our neighbors in surrounding states do not adopt.

The members of the TMA and the citizens of Illinois have complied with the governor’s emergency authority for more than 7 weeks. We have participated in social distancing as well as enhanced hand hygiene, moved workers where possible to work from home, and now, wear masks in public. We are pro-science and pro-accountability, and as a result it is high time for a thoughtful public review and informed discussion about the future response to the COVID-19 challenge here in Illinois.

All legitimate governments derive their authority from the consent of the governed. The Technology & Manufacturing Association does not consent to the governor’s planned phased reopening of Illinois and calls for immediate public hearings.

About TMA: Founded in 1925, the Technology & Manufacturing Association (TMA) represents and supports manufacturers in the Chicago metropolitan area and surrounding counties in northern Illinois, northern Indiana, and southern Wisconsin. TMA has almost 700 members and represents over 30,000 employees and nearly 26M square feet of manufacturing in Illinois.