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Coronavirus

Pritzker says Trump 'modeling bad behavior' and partly to blame for COVID-19 spike

FILE - In this March 7, 2019, file photo, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a news conference in the governor's office at the Illinois State Capitol, in Springfield, Ill. Illinois could lighten its property tax burden by consolidating governmental taxing districts, standardizing property-value assessments, tightening up the appeals process and reining in breaks on commercial redevelopments, according to a draft report obtained Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, by The Associated Press.  (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP, File)
FILE - In this March 7, 2019, file photo, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks during a news conference in the governor's office at the Illinois State Capitol, in Springfield, Ill. Illinois could lighten its property tax burden by consolidating governmental taxing districts, standardizing property-value assessments, tightening up the appeals process and reining in breaks on commercial redevelopments, according to a draft report obtained Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, by The Associated Press. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP, File)

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CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Sunday that President Donald Trump and his allies in Illinois are partly to blame for the coronavirus spike in the state.

Pritzker spoke to CNN’s “State of the Union” the same day health officials announced 4,245 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 22 additional deaths.

“He’s modeling bad behavior. He doesn’t wear a mask in public. He has rallies where they don’t encourage people to wear masks in public," Pritzker said. “But it is the president’s allies in our state, all across the state, who are simply saying to people, ‘Don’t pay any attention to the mitigations, don’t follow the rules.' Indeed, there are bars and restaurants which are restricted from expanding their indoor service that are just ignoring the rules, and they’re just filling the place up.”

Trump appeared Saturday at a rally in Wisconsin, blasting Illinois' COVID-19 restrictions, saying schools should fully reopen.

“Illinois could use a new governor,” Trump told supporters. “That guy doesn’t know what’s happened.”

Pritzker, a Democrat elected in 2018, spoke to CNN days after Illinois reported a new record for COVID-19 cases, coinciding with spikes elsewhere nationwide. Illinois officials have said high testing rates are part of the reason behind the surge.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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