FACT CHECK: Will Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Ban The Sale Of Alcohol Starting In April?

Jonathan Fonti | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will suspend all alcohol sales in Cook County starting on April 1.

Verdict: False

The screen grabbed headline comes from a prank news website. The sale of alcohol has not been banned in Chicago or Cook County as a measure to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

Fact Check:

The image, which appears to be a screen grab of a story previously shared on Facebook, was posted March 28. But the URL featured in the image redirects people to Prank Mania, a website that allows users to create fake news headlines for jokes.

Yet, while Prank Mania makes it clear that the headline is a joke, some Facebook users failed to pick up on that and shared the screen grab as if it were real news. (RELATED: Can You Get Free Baby Formula During The COVID-19 Pandemic By Calling The Company?)

The screen grabbed headline likely draws inspiration from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s statewide stay-at-home order that went into effect March 21 and is set to expire April 7. That executive order also requires all non-essential businesses in Illinois – including those in Chicago and Cook County – to cease operations in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.

But that does not mean the sale of alcohol in Chicago or Cook County has been suspended starting on April 1. Nowhere in the stay-at-home order does it require establishments selling alcohol to close on that date, nor has Lightfoot issued such a directive through her office.

Lightfoot does not have jurisdiction over the entirety of Cook County, further adding to the claim’s dubiousness. The county is governed by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and 17 commissioners, who have not issued any ban on the sale of alcohol related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Establishments” that sell “alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages” are considered essential businesses and are “encouraged to remain open” under Pritzker’s executive order.

Jonathan Fonti

Fact Check Reporter
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