CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot slammed President Donald Trump again Monday, saying he can’t judge the city or state’s response to coronavirus because of his own fumbles.
Lightfoot, Gov. JB Pritzker and other officials have said Illinois will need federal help to make up for revenue lost to coronavirus — but Republican lawmakers have said states in a similar position should instead think about filing for bankruptcy.
Trump himself tweeted about the issue Monday morning, questioning, “Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as example) and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help?”
Lightfoot quickly dismissed that tweet during a Monday press conference.
“First of all, I think we’ve got a very well-run state. I think our governor has done an excellent job and proves that every single day in the way that he is responding to this pandemic,” Lightfoot said. “But the truth of the matter is, in taking the specific steps that were necessary to keep people safe, we have caused damage to our economy … .
“Those kinds of closures, I don’t think anybody took lightly, and I know that the governor didn’t and neither did I, but they were necessary to lives.”
Lightfoot noted Trump’s comment seemed to play off a similar tweet from Nikki Haley, a former governor of South Carolina.
Haley tweeted this weekend that there shouldn’t be a fifth aid package that would “bail out states that have spent recklessly and taxed their way into oblivion.”
Lightfoot pointed out South Carolina is a state that takes far more funding from the federal government than it gives back. In comparison, Illinois is just one of 10 states that gives more funding to the federal government than it gets.
“For the president, who’s done an abysmal job in managing this crisis, to now again try to pit people against one another, to pick winners and losers … what I know is taxpayers in this city and this state pay a lot to the federal government,” Lightfoot said. “And all we’re asking for is our fair share. And that’s what should be the calculus.”
Lightfoot said Trump should not assess “who has done a good job or not.”
“Obviously the president’s ability to judge how someone is performing and functioning is clearly off. His meter is badly damaged because he thinks he has done a good job in this crisis, and nothing could be further from the truth.”
Lightfoot has been a sharp critic of Trump’s since before the pandemic, but the crisis has only magnified her criticism. Earlier this month, a tweet from her telling Trump to “LIBERATE SOME TESTS AND PPE” went viral.
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