August 27, 2021

If only more governors cared enough about accurate information and keeping their citizens safe that they pushed back on the right-wing disinformation machine, like Gov. JB Pritzker did on Wednesday.

Towards the end of his press conference, right-wing hate-radio host Amy Jacobson tried to garner sympathy from him for parents upset about mask mandates in schools, referring to protesters outside who were "crying" about it. She went so far as to admonish him, saying, "As governor, you should try an calm people's nerves, or can you, because they're a low-risk group, students are."

Pritzker's press secretary, Jordan Abudayyeh, interrupted and said, "Amy, as a so-called reporter, you should probably stop the misinformation. We are done here. Thank you. You know how you prevent schools from being closed? You stop complaining about mask-wearing."

Pritzker nodded in agreement with Abudayyeh, said "Thank you," and began to walk away from the podium. Jacobson continued to spar with the staffer, though, demanding the press secretary send her some studies.

That was enough for Gov. Pritzker to return to the podium, saying, "I'm gonna take the podium again and just respond to that."

He looked directly at the Jacobson, pointed, and said, "Let me just say this. YOU are spreading misinformation. I wish you would STOP spreading misinformation. You come in here with a political agenda, and you spread misinformation, and I just think you should STOP. We now need to protect our children. We need to protect the people in our communities, parents, grandparents, teachers. You are working against that. And it is extremely upsetting for all of us who are trying to keep the rest of the state safe."

Jacobson tried unsuccessfully to refute his thoroughly accurate assessment of her motives, but trailed off after it was clear Gov. Pritzker was not going to be derailed from making his point. Turns out last year the governor had banned Jacobson from his press briefings, arguing she was a political activist, not a reporter. Perhaps that ban should be re-enacted.

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