WASHINGTON – Liz and Dick Uihlein, the Lake Forest couple who are mega-donor players in Illinois and national conservative and Republican politics who downplayed the impact of the COVID-19, have tested positive for the coronavirus, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Thursday.
The Uihleins founded Uline, the business products company with facilities in Lake County and just over the border in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.
The paper reported that Liz Uihlein, “an outspoken critic of (Wisconsin) Gov. Tony Evers stay-at-home order earlier this year” had claimed the media has “overhyped” the pandemic.
The Journal-Sentinel said it obtained an e-mail Liz Uihlein sent to Uline workers on Wednesday stating, “Dick and I tested positive for COVID. After all these long months, I thought we’d never get it.” After mentioning that President Donald Trump got it, she added, “If we had not been around people with COVID, we would not have been tested.”
Her email said they would be out of the office until Nov. 19. The Liz Uihlein e-mail was first reported on Wednesday by the Lake Forest Patch.
The Milwaukee paper noted that in April, Liz Uihlein “raised questions about Evers’ order to prevent the spread of the virus earlier this year, saying he needed to balance the long-term effects it would have on the state’s economy.
“We understand that the country can’t reopen if the disease is not under control and hospitals are overwhelmed. However, we also have to realize that there will be no absolute, perfectly safe time to do so.”
Bloomberg News reported that in March, she sent an email to dozens of Illinois lawmakers saying that “while you may think that government-enforced closing of events, schools” help prevent the virus, it also contributes to “unnecessary panic and fear in the American people.”
The Liz Uihlein email did not detail how the couple may have caught the disease.
The Chicago Sun-Times left a message at the Uline Pleasant Prairie headquarters that has not yet been returned. The company told the Milwaukee paper Uline does not comment on “health matters involving anyone at Uline.”
Liz Uihlein also said in the note Uline employees with symptoms should be tested and they will be “allowed to return to work 10 days from the date their test was collected…If you don’t have any symptoms, you are expected to continue working.”
According to an analysis of the top donors in the nation by the Center for Responsive Politics, the Uihlein’s gave at least $65.5 million, all to Republican candidates and causes during the 2020 election cycle, ranking them fourth in a list of the country’s top political givers. .