Oops! Iowa Gov. Reynolds Says Some Test Iowa Samples Were “Potentially Damaged.”

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds stated today that “some” of the Test Iowa samples for COVID-19 were “potentially damaged.”  

Some coronavirus test samples processed under Gov. Kim Reynolds’ “Test Iowa” program could not be processed because they were “potentially damaged,” resulting in incomplete results for an unclear number of Iowans.

Pat Garrett, a spokesman for Reynolds, confirmed the information to the Des Moines Register after the Register asked repeatedly over several days about the status of some tests conducted on April 25 in Des Moines.

Some Iowans say they’ve been waiting nearly two weeks for coronavirus test results from Reynolds’ $26 million Test Iowa program, even after the governor claimed a backlog had been addressed.

“I think we’re caught up,” Reynolds said on Thursday when asked about any outstanding test results. She suggested Iowans call her office if anyone had not received information about their test results.

About two hours later, Garrett acknowledged that some people won’t get results about whether they tested positive for the respiratory illness because their samples were “potentially damaged.”

No explanation of how many samples were affected or what the “damage” was to the samples.  And more than a few of those tested are front line medical staff.

Emily Bednar, a nurse in the Des Moines area, was among those Iowans who was tested for the coronavirus at a Test Iowa site April 25. She showed documentation to the Register that showed her confirmed test date, as well as subsequent emails from Test Iowa organizers. None referenced any potential problem or delay.

On Thursday, nearly two weeks later, she was still waiting for her results. Bednar said she spoke with someone from the Iowa Department of Public Health earlier in the week, who told Bednar that the agency did not have a way to check her test status

I had written a previous diary about the test kits that Test Iowa are using, and even Rachel Maddow caught wind of these flawed tests.  I don’t have the link for now, but Maddow revealed that one of the guys who developed this test for the coronavirus, a fellow by the last name of Nomi,  has NO EXPERIENCE in developing a medical diagnostic test.  Health experts in Utah where the test was developed say that initial data reveals the test has an accuracy rate of less than 50%.

I find this backlog of test results and “potential damage” of samples more than a little suspicious, especially considering who is in charge of this — Governor Reynolds.  She may be just as incompetent as she sounds, but Reynolds is also a big cheerleader for the “never shutdown and reopen soon” movement among Republicans.   In fact, she claims that Iowa is a success story for the rest of America.

The increasing number of coronavirus cases puts that to a lie, but it hasn’t stopped Reynolds from claiming that Iowa was flattening the curve weeks ago.  And Iowa’s batting average on coronavirus testing is no better than most states (around the national average of just over 2% of the population tested).