The Heat is On
Illinois Senator Chapin Rose chastens & demands a meeting with U of I President Tim Killeen regarding the school's use of saliva-testing data
Another Illinois lawmaker has turned up the heat on University of Illinois President Tim Killeen.
On Friday, Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet), who serves on the Senate Higher Education Committee, emailed Killeen, Chancellor Robert Jones, and other executive staff about statements Killeen made on March 3, 2020.
Referring to the testimony he saw via Wood House, Senator Rose chastened Killeen for a “total lack of transparency” over the number of and potential uses for data on 8 million saliva samples the school has collected since mid-2020.
“This was NEVER publicly mentioned or discussed,” said Rose. “I am utterly disgusted by this Orwellian invasion of personal privacy.”
Names/address of non-public email accounts redacted.
Senator Rose’s district includes Champaign County, where the University of Illinois resides. In his Friday email, he demanded that Killeen meet with him as soon as possible.
“Come prepared to the meeting,” Rose wrote, “no spin, no BS. I’m also going to ask Rep. Mazzochi to participate in this meeting.”
At a Senate Higher Ed Committee meeting in December 2020, Senator Rose appeared to support U of I’s saliva test when he voiced his frustrations about the test not being available for off-campus use.
“[I]n my mind, we’ve waited two months, the thing works. Why the Hell don’t we have it on the streets? Because I’ve got 50 school districts worth of kids that would love to have this available to them. I’m sure every school district in Illinois would love to have this available to them.” (Source: Illinois Newsroom)
After falsely claiming months earlier that the test had FDA emergency use authorization (EUA), U of I had to retract its statements when the FDA told them they had no such thing.
The Senator is late to the Five-Alarm Ethics Fire at the state’s largest college, but I’m glad he’s on the scene now. Maybe he can ask Killeen and the Champaign Urbana Public Health District about their illegal quarantine orders too, as long as he’s “here”?
UPDATE: Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson discussed Senator Rose’s email - and the University of Illinois’ saliva-testing program - on Tuesday, August 23, 2022. Go to minute 53:00 https://omny.fm/shows/chicagos-morning-answer-with-dan-proft-amy-jacobso/august-23-2022
I’d be happy to take credit for contacting Senator Rose about President Killen’s testimony, but I did not. I’m glad he found the transcript on Wood House, and that he’s made President Killeen aware of it.