Dear JCAR Members:
Enough is enough. Governor Pritzker and IDPH have deceived your constituents for nearly a year, and we are done. Already increasing non-compliance and rebellion are going to skyrocket setting a dangerous precedent for society generally, as very recent events have demonstrated. The time for Illinois legislators to re-establish the balance of power in this state is now. And, you have the opportunity to begin that process on January 12th by objecting to and suspending IDPH’s Emergency COVID-19 Rule, which was re-filed on January 5th. Not taking action on this rule is taking an action. Families, students, and countless businesses have endured endless and onerous burdens, which are stifling the very life-blood of Illinois and impoverishing families.
As you know, Governor Pritzker’s and IDPH’s entire Restore Illinois mitigation strategy is, to a large degree, based on a region’s COVID-19 PCR test positivity rate. The positivity rate is the number of COVID-19 positive tests compared to the number of COVID-19 tests conducted. And, that would all be fine and good, except in terms of determining policy it is unsupported by science. Even Governor Pritzker’s own small team of hand-picked experts say it is “unreliable” according to a confidential report (obtained through FOIA) which states: “Changes in the total number of test-positive cases or the fraction testing positive are an unreliable measure of shifts. These numbers should not be used to determine policy.” (See source image below.) Furthermore, Dr. Sarah Cobey, arguably the State’s foremost epidemiologist and member of Governor Pritzker’s COVID-19 expert team, told the Belleville News-Democrat in October 2020: “I have been very critical of their use of this metric and basically almost all of the metrics they’ve proposed so far because they are not scientifically founded.” (https://bit.ly/38hWFH5)
Since a substantial portion of what Governor Pritzker is unilaterally basing his policy edicts on is unreliable (or certainly disputed) science, it comes as no surprise that the specific mitigation strategies present in IDPH’s Emergency Rule are also unreliable or disputed. For the sake of all Illinoisans, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), must OBJECT TO and SUSPEND IDPH’s new COVID-19 Emergency Rule 690.50 on January 12th. Here are some additional reasons why: First, the use of PCR tests for diagnostic purposes is highly questionable (especially at higher cycles which IDPH is refusing to disclose in violation of Illinois FOIA Law) and a positive test does not necessarily indicate active infection or transmissibility (bit.ly/2KV6OAy, bit.ly/3obGEYB, and bit.ly/2X3nAQz); Second, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine stated, “[W]earing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection” and that “[T]he desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.” (bit.ly/2MyNcTb)
We are on the cusp of truly irreparable societal harm and massive resistance in this state unless the necessary and proper balance of power is restored immediately. We are already witnessing significant and very defensible defiance by countless restaurants and establishments throughout Illinois. This is your time to create a new path forward. I implore you, as a member of JCAR, to object to and suspend IDPH’s COVID-19 Emergency Rule 690.50 until such time as the legislature convenes and properly investigates Illinois government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.