Newsletter: More Restrictions? Pritzker “Won’t Hesitate.”

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker holds a news conference
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker holds a news conference, along with Dr. Ngozi Ezike, left, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, during a daily briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic in May. Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register / Associated Press
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker holds a news conference
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker holds a news conference, along with Dr. Ngozi Ezike, left, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, during a daily briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic in May. Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register / Associated Press

Newsletter: More Restrictions? Pritzker “Won’t Hesitate.”

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Hi there. It’s Tuesday, and I’m trying to enjoy this nice summer afternoon before it gets unbearably hot again this weekend. Here’s what you need to know today. (PS: You can have this delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.)

1. Pritzker says he will enact stricter COVID-19 restrictions if cases continue to climb

Gov. JB Pritzker today singled out bars as places that could have “significant transmission,” and said he “won’t hesitate” to impose more restrictions on residents and businesses if the number of COVID-19 cases continue to climb.

States like Florida, Texas, Arizona and California have recently seen an explosive growth in cases, prompting officials to close bars or require face coverings in public. Illinois has seen a slight increase in cases since entering Phase 4, which allowed for the reopening of indoor dining and bars. [WBEZ]

State officials today announced 707 new COVID-19 cases and 25 more deaths. That brings the total number of reported cases to more than 155,000 and more than 7,200 fatalities. [WBEZ]

In Central Illinois, health experts are encouraging people to wear masks and take precautions after an increase in cases. “People have gotten a sense that it’s not [going to] affect them,” said Dr. David Graham, senior VP of the Memorial Hospital System. [NPR Illinois]

Nationally, Miami is becoming the newest epicenter of the pandemic. [NPR]

The director of Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami said patients are now younger and getting sicker than during the previous outbreak. [NPR]

And next month’s Republican National Convention in Florida is being moved outdoors due to coronavirus risk. [New York Times]

Here’s a map showing where infections are rising in the U.S. [NPR]

2. Trump calls Chicago violence “worse than Afghanistan”

President Donald Trump called Chicago’s gun violence “worse than any war zone that we’re in,” and said Mayor Lori Lightfoot has refused his offer to help.

Trump, who spoke yesterday at a law enforcement round table, has frequently criticized Chicago’s gun violence. His latest comments come after another weekend where dozens of residents were shot throughout the city.

But this time the president didn’t limit his criticism to Chicago. Trump called out other Democratic-run cities — specifically New York City — for “escalating the anti-cop crusade” while violent crime is “spiraling in their cities.” [Chicago Sun-Times]

Meanwhile, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said his new community policing strategy needs more time to be effective. [Chicago Tribune]

And Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson insist that elected school councils should decide whether police officers should remain in schools — a controversial practice that some experts say increases the likelihood students of color will be arrested. However, more than 20% of public schools with police don’t have a local council capable of making that decision. [WBEZ]

3. Indiana man is the first federal execution in 17 years

Daniel Lewis Lee, who was convicted of murdering three people, was executed this morning in Terre Haute, Ind., in the first federal execution since 2003. Two other executions are scheduled for later this week.

Lee’s death followed a series of court battles, including a request by relatives of the victims to delay the execution because traveling to the remote Indiana city was difficult during the pandemic.

The death penalty has been in decline in recent years. Yet the Justice Department is attempting to reverse the trend. Attorney General William P. Barr recently said officials “owe it to the victims of these horrific crimes, and to the families left behind.” [Washington Post]

4. Cook County opioid-related deaths have doubled

The number of opioid-related deaths being investigated by Cook County has doubled in the first six months of this year compared to the same time period last year.

The medical examiner’s office, one of the busiest in the country, has confirmed around 770 opioid deaths and has another 580 pending cases. That’s an increase from 605 opioid deaths in the first six months of 2019.

Black and Latino residents make up nearly two-thirds of the deaths so far this year. Fatal overdoses are also most likely in men, those ages 45 to 55 and those who live on the West Side.

Health experts point to fear of going to hospitals during the pandemic and decreased access to substance abuse treatment programs as possible reasons for the increase. [WBEZ]

5. Britain bans Huawei from its 5G networks

Britain will bar new deployments of 5G equipment from the Chinese company Huawei after pressure from the Trump administration to shun the firm. Britain will also phase out all recently installed Huawei 5G equipment.

The decision will delay Britain’s rollout of 5G service — the next generation of global wireless networks — by at least two years and cost billions of dollars. The U.S. has already effectively banned Huawei and other Chinese companies from its 5G platforms.

The announcement indicates a shift in the global 5G competition, especially among democracies concerned about Huawei’s ties to the Communist government. Those worries have only been exacerbated in recent weeks after the Chinese crackdown on Hong Kong. [Washington Post]

And U.S. and Chinese relations have become increasingly strained in recent weeks after the Trump administration imposed sanctions on those punitive policies towards Hong Kong and challenged China’s claims to the South China Sea. With ideological gaps widening, experts are wary that the two world powers may be heading towards a new Cold War. [New York Times]

Here’s what else is happening

  • An ICE ruling that would have required international students to attend in-person classes has been rescinded. [AP]

  • Southwest Airlines’ CEO says passenger traffic must triple to avoid layoffs. [Chicago Tribune]

  • Lawmakers are calling for an end to Illinois’ patchwork patient transfer system. [WBEZ]

Even with extra cleanings, is the CTA safe? [AP]

Oh, and one more thing …

Nursing home residents in England have been recreating iconic album covers.

Martin Steinberg posed in jeans in front of a British flag in a riff off Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The U.S.A. And 93-year-old Vera posed as Adele. Staff even got in on the action, with four posing in a tribute to Queen.

My favorite is Roma Cohen, who appears with colorful paint down her face a-la David Bowie.

The activities manager at the home — who did all the make up, costumes and tattoos for the impersonations — said he wanted “to make [the residents’] time as happy and full of enjoyment and interest as possible.” [NPR]

Tell me something good …

I’ve been rewatching several of those million-season TV shows of yore. Which makes me wonder: What show or shows have you been watching since the pandemic started?

Laura Karbin writes:

“During the pandemic, my husband and I have been watching all the iterations of the 90 Day Fiance universe. … There’s a lot, turns out. We aren’t proud of it, but it’s been a good distraction for these tense times!”

And Francesca writes:

“Like too many people, we took voyeuristic pleasure in the Tiger King’s dethroning as we tried to explain to ourselves the documentarian’s true aims. We also thoroughly enjoyed catching up with … Schitt’s Creek on Netflix, with the wealthy pretentious family suddenly being catapulted into an “upside-down” with drastically narrowed possibilities, especially at first. Does that sound a little familiar to the more privileged slice of American society during the pandemic?”

What shows have you been watching since pandemic started? Feel free to email or tweet me, and your responses may be shared here this week.

Thanks for reading and have a nice night! We’ll see you tomorrow. P.S. Did a friend forward you this email? Sign up to receive the Daily Rundown in your inbox.