Gov. JB Pritzker’s last daily COVID-19 media briefing on Friday quickly turned to the subject of President Trump, who the Illinois governor labeled “a racist.”

The blunt comments – Pritzker repeated past criticism of Trump being a sexist, xenophobe and homophobe – follow Trump’s tweets calling Minneapolis protestors “thugs” and recommending looters be shot.

Earlier on Friday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot accused Trump of “inflaming racist urges” and that what she really wants to say to him, “begins with F. It ends with you.”

All this comes as the Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd was arrested and charged with murder.

Pritzker expressed his outrage and sympathies.

“I cannot imagine the rage and the fear that must be felt by a black American watching what happened to George Floyd, the threat that comes to every black American under color of law, that they see in a video like that. We’re lucky that that video was ever taken because that is happening around America, probably every day,” said Pritzker, who offered his condolences to Floyd’s family and every African American in this country.

The governor said the lack of progress on race in America is “unacceptable” and called President Trump’s conduct “reprehensible.”

Friday’s press briefing was ostensibly organized to welcome the state into Phase 3 of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan. Relaxed social and economic restrictions kicked in on May 29 as infection and hospitalization numbers stabilized or declined.

Pritzker announced that he will not extend Illinois’ stay-at-home order and it instead will be replaced with the Community Recovery Executive Order, which maintains limits on gatherings of 10 people or more and continues to require social distancing and face coverings in public.

Protections against evictions and other housing and utility customer protections will continue under the new order.

Illinois was the first and only state to meet the White House’s guidelines for reopening, despite many states choosing to reopen weeks ago.

The governor also shared that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 press briefings and will instead provide updates on an as-needed basis.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike shared the daily COVID-19 numbers:

  • 1,622 new cases for a total of 117,455 cases
  • 86 additional deaths for a total of 5,270 deaths
  • 25,513 tests performed in the last 24 hours

In taking questions from reporters, Gov. Pritzker said …

  • His administration offered guidelines to faith leaders to help them keep parishioners safe.
  • He does not have plans to travel out of state with his family.
  • Until COVID goes away the state will need to maintain some kind of alternative care and housing facilities.
  • As things open up, opportunities to catch COVID-19 open up.