Steamboat, Iowa — On Tuesday morning Governor Kim Reynolds again urged all Iowans to practice social distancing and wear masks when that is not possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the statements came just moments after the governor stood shoulder-to-shoulder with a dozen people, none of them wearing masks.
Governor Reynolds, along with Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg, Speaker of the Iowa House Pat Grassley and State Senator and congressional candidate Randy Feenstra were among the group that gathered at Pine Lake Corn Processors, LLC for the signing of Senate File 2403, a bill that lowers taxes on ethanol blended fuel. For approximately 20 minutes, the lawmakers and a group of ethanol industry representatives stood with just inches separating one another at the signing ceremony. Governor Reynolds signed the bill using more than a dozen pens which she handed out to each of the persons gathered behind her.
At the conclusion of the signing ceremony the governor provided an update on the coronavirus pandemic. As part of that update the governor encouraged Iowans to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, steps that she and others had just chosen not to take.
“There really are no days off for COVID-19,” the governor said, “Practice social distancing when you are away from home and gathering in groups. If you can’t maintain six feet from others, consider wearing a face covering.”
Iowa is one of only four states, along with Montana, Wisconsin and South Dakota, with no laws requiring a face mask be worn. Governor Reynolds defended that decision on Tuesday. Reynolds says the role of the state should be to provide as much information about COVID-19 to Iowans as possible. Iowans should then weigh that information and make a personal decision on they wish to respond to it, she says.
The governor did urge Iowans to do the right thing. “COVID-19 as you know is not over,” the governor said, “It is still in our communities so we all have to do our part to contain and manage it. That applies to every Iowan.”
On Tuesday three US states issued travel warnings for the state of Iowa due to an increase in positive tests in the last week.