An emotional Gov. J.B. Pritzker clarified his family’s Thanksgiving plans on Tuesday, saying his wife and teenage daughter plan to remain in Florida “indefinitely” after a false social media post sparked “hateful, threatening messages” directed at the high school student.
Pausing briefly to clear his throat before discussing the matter at his daily coronavirus briefing, the Democratic governor said the posts falsely portrayed his daughter as flouting COVID-19 restrictions at an outdoor restaurant with friends, igniting a firestorm directed at the girl even after the governor’s office had made it clear she was not in the photograph.
“That was a lie,” Pritzker said. “It wasn’t her.”
Pritzker said he has become accustomed to the “vitriol” spewed at him — occasionally anti-Semitic in nature — as leader of the state but warned, “My kids are off limits.”
The governor said he had been “taken aback” by a reporter’s question on Monday about whether he’d be in Illinois for the holiday. Pritzker had told the reporter, “that is my hope, but I’ll let you know.”