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
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
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
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