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“Illinois Governor Jay Robert ‘J. B.’ Pritzker, probably the most incompetent governor in the history of the state, is crushing Illinois small businesses with his Draconian lockdown measures,” said Jim Tobin, economist and president of Taxpayer Education Foundation (TEF). “Yet, despite being the10th most restrictive state, Illinois’ COVID-19 death rate is higher than all of its neighbors.”

“An article by Greg Bishop appearing in the Jan. 26, 2021 issue of The Center Square illustrates how destructive and counterproductive Pritzker’s measure have turned out.”

Illinois State Representative Tony McCombie (R-71 Savanna), whose district is on the border with both Iowa and Wisconsin, says that Pritzker’s COVID-19 mitigation, which was among the strictest in the nation, may have made the death rate worse in Illinois compared to neighboring states that had fewer economic restrictions.

Illinois is the tenth most restrictive state in the nation when it comes to COVID-19 mitigation, according to WalletHub, a personal finance website launched in early August 2013 based in Washington, D.C. and owned by Evolution Finance, Inc. Illinois ranked No. 42 of all states and the District of Columbia (higher number = worse). The state was 49th strictest for allowing restaurants and bars to reopen, 34th for reopening non-essential businesses and 26th for large gathering restrictions.

McCombie said for months consumers have been going to neighboring states’ restaurants and other businesses, including herself. She said the more strict restrictions in Illinois haven’t helped the state’s COVID-19 death rate compared to neighboring states.

The CDC rates the Wisconsin COVID-19 death rate at 106 per 100,000. WalletHub ranked Wisconsin eighth least restrictive on COVID-19 mitigation. Iowa, ranked by WalletHub at No. 3 least restrictive, had 148 deaths per 100,000. Illinois’ COVID-19 death rate was 163 per 100,000.

McCombie, who’s Illinois district borders both Iowa and Wisconsin, said it doesn’t appear the governor’s mitigation in Illinois did any good.

According to WalletHub, Missouri was the seventh least restrictive state. The CDC says Missouri had a COVID-19 death rate of 106 per 100,000 cases.

Kentucky ranked No. 26 per WalletHub. The CDC reported 77 deaths per 100,000. Indiana’s death rate was 144 per 100,000. WalletHub ranked Indiana as the 20th least restrictive.

“Illinois’ unemployment rate is 7.6. That’s more than double Iowa’s unemployment rate of 3.1 percent and higher than all neighboring states,” said Tobin.

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