Donald Trump’s characteristic (and characteristically unreflective) 180-degree turn last weekend on the need for much more rigorous quarantining to stop the coronavirus pandemic stimulated a number of Republican governors to get off the dime and issue the statewide shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders that critics and many local government officials had been begging for. Almost immediately, Florida’s Ron DeSantis, Georgia’s Brian Kemp, and Alabama’s Kay Ivey acted, recognizing that the president was taking Dr. Anthony Fauci’s advice, leaving no safe haven for those wanting to play ostrich and keep businesses open at the risk of public health.
But some Republican chief executives — like Iowa’s Kim Reynolds — didn’t get the memo. And worse yet, she chose to suggest that Fauci, far and away the most respected coronavirus figure in the entire Trump administration, needed to become better informed, as the Des Moines Register reported Friday:
[Dr. Fauci] “maybe doesn’t have all the information” about Iowa’s mitigation efforts, Gov. Kim Reynolds said at Friday’s news conference. Asked about state-ordered shelter-in-place orders on CNN Thursday night, Fauci said “I don’t understand why that’s not happening” nationwide …
“I would say to him, does he recognize the fact that we have closed down schools and we’ve actually done that through (April) 30?” Reynolds said. “Is he aware of the various businesses that have been closed, restaurants and bars, through April 30 that we have implemented and no social gatherings of more than 10 people? That we have added additional closures to the orders that I have put in place based on data and metrics that we daily look at and move forward.”
“I’m standing with public health experts and leaders around Iowa today to call for a clear directive from the state for everyone who is able to stay at home,” Greenfield said. “By doing our part and staying home, we can help limit the spread of this virus among our neighbors and loved ones, and we can help protect the hardworking Iowans on the frontlines of the epidemic — the health-care workers, grocery store employees, truck drivers, and more who put themselves in harm’s way every day to keep us safe, and to whom we owe a debt of gratitude.”
She continued, “These are tough times, but Iowans know how to put politics aside and pull together to weather a challenge. By taking even more swift action now, we can save lives and support those who are struggling to stay afloat, while also giving our small businesses the hand up they urgently need. We need to use every tool in the toolbox to protect our health and safety, and right now that means implementing a statewide stay-at-home order that goes into effect as soon as possible.”
In addition to calling for a statewide stay-at-home order, Theresa already has urged leaders to expand access to free coronavirus testing, treatment and protective gear, and to increase hospital beds in rural communities, provide additional direct crisis mitigation payments and loans to hardworking Iowans and small businesses, and expand paid sick leave to all who need it as part of her “Jobs That Need to Get Done” plan to put Iowa workers first in the fight against COVID-19. The full plan is available here.
Greenfield’s opponent, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R. IA), hasn’t called for a statewide stay-at-home order. By remaining silent, Ernst and Gov. Reynolds are putting lives at risk. We need real leadership. Click here to donate and get involved with Greenfield’s campaign.