To the Editor:
Illinois physicians and hospitals commend Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his steadfast leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every day he faces tough choices and he is clearly making decisions with the interests of Illinoisans in mind. Our governor is also taking the time to listen to the experts. A good example was his recent executive order extending civil-liability protection to health professionals and hospitals during this crisis. The Illinois State Medical Society and the Illinois Health and Hospital Association jointly asked his office to issue this order. It did not take long for our conversations with the governor's office to lead to much-needed protections for frontline health care workers. We thank Pritzker for his leadership.
Increasing COVID-19 testing statewide, the incredible momentum to turn McCormick Place into an alternative care site and engaging the Army Corps of Engineers to open shuttered facilities are significant accomplishments. The order from a few weeks ago requiring health insurer payment of telemedicine is another decisive action that cleared the way for non-COVID-19 patients to maintain treatment with physicians and health systems.
Pritzker's daily battles to obtain personal protective equipment, ventilators and other critical resources are very much appreciated as we near a surge of expected COVID-19 hospitalizations.
The days and weeks ahead will be difficult, but decisiveness and ability to make hard choices is critical right now. Thank you, Gov. Pritzker, for doing what is right to protect the wellness and safety of us all.
Paul E. Pedersen, MD
President, Illinois State Medical Society
President and CEO, Illinois Health
and Hospital Association