Disdain for science
Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin, announced June 29 at the village board meeting that the annual fall festival "The Hills are Alive" is scheduled to be held Sep. 20 "rain or shine." At the opening of the following July 21 meeting, I, an urgent care physician working in neighboring McHenry County in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, warned against it. I expressed that the nature of this event, which is open to the public, has potential to be a super spreader as it has many tactile attractions, slow milling about and socializing, food and drinks, including free alcohol and a turnout that in prior years has far exceeded Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health's current mandate for limiting gatherings to 50 people. I also stated that violating an IDPH mandate is a Class A misdemeanor. My remarks were submitted for the village record.
Following my statement, McLaughlin, without discussion nor vote from the Board of Trustees, announced that the event will still be going forward. His is clearly a copycat response to the COVID-19 crisis that we have seen from state and federal politicians who ignore medical and scientific evidence. Their actions have resulted in unnecessary deaths.
Why take this risk for a free event that does not even provide revenue for the village?
Martin McLaughlin is the Republican candidate for the State House of Representatives for District 52 which includes Algonquin, Cary, Fox River Grove, Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington, South Barrington, and Island Lake.
Laura Haley Tommaso