As he reported 2,126 new cases of COVID-19 and 59 more deaths in Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Sunday pushed back against a legal challenge to his stay-at-home order aimed at slowing the deadly virus’ spread.

Republican state Rep. Darren Bailey of downstate Xenia sued Pritzker last week, arguing that the governor’s order violates residents’ civil rights and exceeds his authority.

Pritzker on Sunday said the “obvious answer” is that the governor has the power to enact such measures, as has been the case the past with natural disasters like floods.

“This is worse than that and obviously has threatened the lives of 12.7 million people in the state,” he said.

The new cases reported Sunday brings the state’s total to 43,903, up from 41,777 cases on Saturday. In all, 1,933 have died in Illinois as a result of the coronavirus.

Of the deaths reported Sunday, 45 took place in Cook County, including two women and a man in their 20s. Five others were reported in DuPage County, three were reported in Lake County, two in Will County and one in Kane County.

As of midnight Sunday, 4,595 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in Illinois, 1,267 of which are in intensive care, Pritzker said, adding that 13,335 new tests were reported over the previous 24 hours.

Pritzker, who handled the daily briefing alone Sunday, addresses a range of other topics, from how schools should prepare for the 2020-21 academic year to a tweet from former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley suggesting Illinois and some other states should not receive federal bailout money because they “recklessly spent and taxed their way into oblivion.”

“I want to know if members of the Republican Party in Illinois agree with her, that Illinois doesn’t deserve any help,” Pritzker said.

Educational leaders should plan for both continued virtual learning as well as a return to school for students when the 2020-21 academic year begins, he said.

“I would prepare for both because it’s still unclear what things are going to look like in the summer and fall,” he added. “E-learning is important either way. What we’ve learned in this short period of time is that many, many schools are not as ready for e-learning as they should be.”

Pritzker also was asked if he’s been watching “The Last Dance,” ESPN’s 10-part documentary on Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls.

“I desperately want to watch it. I haven’t gotten around to it, I have to admit,” he said. “I’ve been a little busy.”