Governor Kim Reynolds did not consult with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) before ending the state’s limited mask mandate and gathering requirements, according to a number of legislators who participated in a phone call with IDPH director Kelly Garcia.
Reynolds has faced an outpouring of criticism in response to her decision. Health officials, legislators, and members of the public have shared their responses online and in the press. At one point the hashtag #COVIDKim was even trending nationally on Twitter.
“It’s mind-boggling to me that the Governor didn’t consult her own public health experts when making such a major public health decision for our state” -Rep. Lindsay James
“It’s mind-boggling to me that the Governor didn’t consult her own public health experts when making such a major public health decision for our state,” said Rep. Lindsay James, of Dubuque. “The only sense I can make of such an egregious omission is that this is all about politics, not the well-being of Iowans.”
Currently, according to Reynolds, Iowa is 47th in per capita vaccine distribution and 46th in administering the vaccine to citizens.
Data from the New York Times shows that Iowa is the worst state for efficiently administering vaccines with 7.5 percent of the population receiving one vaccine and only 2.8 percent getting both doses.
As of today, Iowa has almost 325,000 cases and 5,110 deaths, according to the state.