Billionaire Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) admitted this week his wife skipped out on their state’s stay-at-home order — flocking to their $12.1 million equestrian estate in South Florida — and indicated that she recently visited their farm in Wisconsin.
“My wife and daughter were down in Florida in early March and, in fact even a little before that, and you know, they sheltered in place when the stay-at-home order came up,” he said.
“And they stayed there until very recently, so you know we’ll say, you know, we have a working farm. They’re there now. There are animals on that farm. That is an essential function to take care of animals at a farm,” he added, as nonessential travel remains “discouraged” in Illinois:
WATCH: @govpritzker asked where his family has been during stay at home order.
— Illinois Rising Action (@ILRisingAction) May 15, 2020
“A Pritzker spokeswoman later clarified that the family is at home in Chicago and have visited the farm but haven’t stayed there,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
Pritzker came under fire last month after it was revealed that his wife avoided the state’s All-in Illinois” initiative, fleeing to Florida — which, under Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), escaped “draconian” lockdown orders — instead of riding out the stay-at-home mandate alongside Illinoisans unable to return to work as a result of her husband’s orders.
The governor initially refused to address the rumors of his wife’s whereabouts, contending that it was “inappropriate” and “reprehensible” that a reporter for the Patch covered the story.
“Where’s the first lady? Is she accompanied by a state security detail? Has she engaged in nonessential travel? What is your response to people who say the state home order and nonessential travel bans aren’t being abided by your family?” a reporter asked during an April presser.
“Well, first of all, I want to say that in politics, it used to be that we kept our families out of it,” Pritzker said, attempting to separate his family from his “official duties.”
“You know, my official duties have nothing to do with my family, so I’m just not going to answer that question. It’s inappropriate, and I find it reprehensible, honestly, that that reporter wrote a story about it,” he added:
However, as Breitbart News reported, it was far from inappropriate to question his wife’s whereabouts, given her status as a public figure with a taxpayer-funded staffer and two taxpayer-funded offices.
“What’s inappropriate is the Pritzker family’s track record of abiding by the rules only when it suits them,” Kayleen Carlson, executive director of Illinois Rising Action, told Breitbart News in an exclusive statement at the time.
“The first lady has a taxpayer-funded staffer and two taxpayer-funded offices – so her whereabouts are not off limits,” Carlson added.
Pritzker’s recent admission is of particular interest, as Wisconsin’s Supreme Court recently struck down Gov. Tony Evers’ (D) stay-at-home order. Meanwhile, the people of Illinois remain under a stay-at-home order, currently set to expire May 29, as all regions remain in Pritzker’s restrictive phase two of reopening, allowing nonessential retail stores to reopen “for curb-side pickup and delivery” only. Essential stores remain open but with restrictions.
Phase two also limits religious services to groups of ten or fewer, and personal care services, such as hair and nail salons, are not permitted to operate.
“Illinoisans are directed to wear a face covering when outside the home and can begin enjoying additional outdoor activities like golf, boating and fishing while practicing social distancing,” the guidelines state.
“We’re well within the laws that exist in Illinois to have a disaster declaration, and there’s an ongoing disaster, an ongoing emergency,” Pritzker said, defending his stance. “We will continue to work within the law to keep people safe.”