“Do as I say, not as I do” is a phrase that parents like to use, and it comes to mind recently.
In their unenviable positions, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker strive to implement restrictions in Chicago and statewide to keep people safe from COVID-19. Understandably, they’ve made many people angry.
Some folks are mad that bars and restaurants can’t offer indoor service and school districts won’t open their buildings. Others adamantly disagree with those opinions.
With an increasing rate of COVID-19 cases, Chicago instituted tighter restrictions beginning Nov. 16, and residents are advised not to host Thanksgiving celebrations with relatives they don’t live with and not to travel out of state.
The leaders said the restrictions are based on science, but to many people, Lightfoot and Pritzker look like hypocrites after attending huge public gatherings in Chicago on Nov. 7 to celebrate Joe Biden being projected as the next president.
Many of the people at the gatherings were wearing facemasks—including Lightfoot and Pritzker, at least most of the time.
Lightfoot removed hers to speak using a bullhorn. Pritzker took part in the celebration after being exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus. His office said Pritzker tested negative twice and that he was not considered a close contact because he met with the individual who tested positive prior to 48 hours before symptoms onset. Therefore, his office said, in following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols, he did not have to quarantine for 14 days.
Nonetheless, six days later, Pritzker issued statewide guidelines similar to Lightfoot’s and said another stay-at-home order could be coming.
Lightfoot answered the media on Nov. 13 in regard to her joining the Biden celebration.
“There are times,” she said, “when we actually do need to have … relief and come together.”
Thanksgiving would qualify as one of those times, but not so much a public celebration of an election victory.
Lightfoot also faced criticism in the spring for getting a haircut after salons were shut down. She said she took proper safety precautions. Perhaps she did, but casting herself as more important than constituents—and passing up a chance to be a good example did not look good.
For doing their job, the mayor and governor do not deserve personal attacks, but they should also remember that actions speak louder than words.