Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker had some words of advice for Wellington when he visited the famous penguin at the Shedd Aquarium on Sunday.
“All right now, 6 feet apart, everyone,” Pritzker tells a group of penguins in a new video for his social media campaign, #AllInIllinois.
“Wellington, come on back,” Pritzker says, as the Shedd’s oldest — and perhaps most popular — penguin listened and rejoined a group of penguins walking in order — 6 feet apart.
The 60-second video — which also features the governor preaching to sea otters and garden eels — is the latest in Pritzker’s attempt to get residents to stay home and follow health guidelines, like social distancing and washing hands, as the battle continues in the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The latest pitch is intended for the state’s families and children.
“Remember, we’ve got to stay indoors. Stay inside. Because your’e doing your neighbors, your friends, your grandparents, everyone a favor,” Pritzker says in the video. “But if you need to leave your house, make sure you’re 6 feet apart. And that means everyone.”
Wellington, a 32-year-old rockhopper penguin, has received thousands of views on the Shedd Aquarium’s social media pages during the outbreak. One of the most watched videos includes Wellington astonished to visit belugas at the aquarium. Another features him walking on the front steps outside the Shedd.
The governor also cracks some jokes to schools of fish: “What is this? Lollapalooza? All right. Too many of you together. Schooling groups of 10 or less. Break it out,” Pritzker says to the tank.
Pritzker’s office said the social media campaign has reached more than 11 million people in the last two weeks since it’s launched. The program at allin.illinois.gov features public service announcements from more than 40 celebrities with Illinois roots, as well as ads targeting the African American and Latino communities. Hillary Clinton, a longtime Pritzker friend and an Illinois native, released a video for the campaign Wednesday.