“I think that we’ve been saying all along everybody has to take care, everybody has to take precaution,” Lightfoot told MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle Friday. “I will tell you in that big crowd a week ago, everybody was wearing masks.”
“But yes, there are times when we actually do need to have a relief and come together and I felt like that was one of those times. And that crowd was gathered whether I was there or not,” she added.
Chicagoans have been advised to stay home when possible and forgo social gatherings, including having people in their private residences, unless they are healthcare workers or childcare providers, as coronavirus cases spike in the Windy City.
The city has also advised people to “cancel traditional Thanksgiving celebrations” – a call that has greatly frustrated people who saw the mayor mingling with a large crowd after national media outlets called the 2020 presidential election in favor of the Biden-Harris ticket.
“This has been a super hard year on everyone. Everyone feels traumatized, they feel threatened,” Lightfoot said. “And they don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring.”
Illinois has seen record spikes in the number of new cases reported, outstretching the highest daily caseload during the first spike earlier this year by three times.
The state confirmed 15,415 new cases of coronavirus Friday, setting a new record for the fifth day in a row, according to the state’s Department of Health.
People are now being advised to only leave their homes for essential trips like work, grocery shopping or to pick up takeout food.
Lightfoot has not shut down “non-essential” businesses at this time but has also urged people to take the new advisory seriously, saying that 1,000 Chicagoans could die by the end of the year if changes are not made.
“And with this new surge in cases we have just got to step up and do the right thing, and I think people understand that,” the mayor said on MSNBC Friday.
But not everyone agrees, Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, took issue with the mayor’s latest calls.
“[The] Government is now telling us how many people we can have in our homes for dinner,” Jordan wrote on twitter. “But will let you protest if you support their liberal agenda.”
But Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley, whose district encompasses part of Chicago said that with the rise in cases it is time people “recommit” to safe practices.
“We know a lot more…than we knew back in the spring, we’ve got a lot more data, we understand better on how this virus spreads,” Lightfoot also said, explaining why a less strict stay-at-home order has been issued. “Back in the spring when we issued these blanket stay at home orders, it was because we really didn’t understand where the risk was.”