DES MOINES, Iowa — Hundreds of medical professionals in Iowa are calling on Gov. Kim Reynolds to issue a statewide mask mandate.
“It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing because the science is clear. The right thing to do is clear and for some reason our state is not doing it,” said Dr. Austin Baeth, an internal medicine physician at UnityPoint Health.
Baeth and about 30 other physicians from across Iowa gathered at the Capitol steps Saturday morning to discuss scientific data that they believe proves masks can curb the spread of COVID-19.
Iowa is just one of three states nationally that has no sort of mask mandate. Baeth says that because the virus can be spread by asymptomatic carriers, it is necessary for masks to be mandatory. The group handed over a petition signed by hundreds from the medical community in Iowa in an effort to recommend the governor make cloth masks or face shields mandatory in public settings where six feet of distance cannot be maintained.
While opposing views may feel it is their right to choose whether or not to wear a mask, many who gathered at the Capitol feel it is no different than many laws Iowans already obey. Baeth said, “A drunk driving law says you can’t drink too much before you drive. That’s telling somebody what they can’t do but the purpose of that is to save others and to protect them and that’s the point of government in the first place, is to protest its citizens.”
The CDC now recommends facial coverings in public settings where six feet of social distance cannot be maintained. The full letter can be found at https://aprescriptionforiowa.org/