Iowans Tell Pence: Stay In Washington


In advance of the Vice President’s visit to Iowa on Friday, a number of Iowans expressed their concern about his travel to our state and the message it sends while cases of COVID-19 are still on the rise. 

A number of prominent Iowans issued the following joint statement to Vice President Pence:

“Mr. Vice President, you may have the best intention with your visit to our state. But your presence here will at best send a mixed message at a time when every Iowan should be practicing social distancing and other best practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Iowa’s COVID-19 numbers are on the rise, and we have recently been one of the worst states in the nation for spreading this disease. We need you to lead by example, and practice social distancing instead of traveling here and encouraging us to put our families and neighbors in danger.

If you want to save lives and safeguard the health of Iowans, you should stay in Washington and address this pandemic as a policymaker. Help Iowa by keeping your promise that everyone who wants a test can get one. Help Iowa by listening to experts, not by dismantling the federal response task force. Help Iowa by fighting to protect the Affordable Care Act instead of working toward its full repeal in the courts. Help Iowa by sending much needed federal aid for our state and local governments, not letting us go bankrupt as Senator McConnell suggested.

Mr. Vice President, you can help Iowa much more by staying in Washington. We implore you to do so.”

More than sixty days ago, the administration promised that “anybody who wants a test can get a test,” but that has not been the case in Iowa or across the country. And more than a week ago, the administration said that the US will run 5 million daily tests “very soon” but that number is still roughly 250,000 per day.

Meanwhile, Iowa continues to set records for daily deaths as a result of COVID-19, which has killed double the number of people as compared to the flu, and in significantly less time. And a bipartisan group of Iowa Mayors have called for more federal support, standing up to Senator McConnell’s suggestion that local governments be allowed to go bankrupt. 

The organizations, leaders, and elected officials signing on to the statement are as follows:

Alex Watters, Sioux City Councilmember

Alicia Claypool, former chair, Iowa Civil Rights Commission

Allison Ritchie, President, AFSCME Area Local Union 3011

Americans for Democratic Action Iowa

Chris Schwartz, Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors

Connie Ryan, executive director, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa

Danny J. Homan, President, AFSCME Council 61

Dave Jacoby, Iowa State Representative

Doug Bailey, Hamilton County Board of Supervisors

Eric Giddens, Iowa State Senator

Hawkeye Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Indivisible Iowa

Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans

Iowa Citizen Action Network

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement

Iowa Lower Drug Prices Now

Iowa Main Street Alliance

Iowa State Education Association

Iowa Voices

Jackie Smith, Iowa State Senator

Joe Bolkcom, Iowa State Senator

Jonathan Grieder, Waterloo City Councilor, Ward 2

Liz Bennett, Iowa State Representative

Marti Anderson, Iowa State Representative

Mary Mascher, Iowa State Representative

Matt Sinovic, executive director, Progress Iowa

Progress Iowa

Protect Our Care Iowa

Randy R. Boulton, Iowa United Steelworkers Council

Rob Hogg, Iowa State Senator

Rod Sullivan, Johnson County Board of Supervisors

Smith & McElwain Law Office

South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

Sue Dinsdale, executive director, Iowa Citizen Action Network

Tax March Iowa