Nearly one million adults have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Iowa. Since Iowa’s vaccine rollout began last December, the number of daily COVID-19 deaths and cases have plummeted, according to Iowa Department of Public Health statistics.
Currently, there is just one long-term care facility in Iowa reporting a coronavirus outbreak after more than 150 outbreaks were reported at care facilities when infections surged last November. Iowa’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have also plummeted since the November peak and fell below 200 on Sunday.
Last week, U.S. health officials confirmed fewer than 6,000 Americans have contracted COVID-19 out of the 84 million Americans who have been fully vaccinated, according to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
With the COVID-19 vaccines proving to be effective, Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, a Republican, encouraged as many people as possible to get one.
“For the entire last year, we’ve been wanting to get back to normal, and one of the keys to getting back to normal is to get enough people vaccinated to have herd immunity,” Whitver said. “Certainly we want as many people as possible to get vaccinated. Those that are willing and able. Some people just don’t want to because of different beliefs. Some people maybe can’t because of different conditions. But we certainly want as many people vaccinated as possible.”
In addition to vaccines, Whitver discussed a variety of issues on this week’s The Insiders, including the state budget, racial justice and more.
A jury convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd last Tuesday. Chauvin was found guilty on all charges: second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The guilty verdict is what many community activists in Iowa and across the country had been calling for.
Justyn Lewis founded Des Moines’ Selma to build a coalition of people, organizations and businesses to better understand the injustices of the Black community and to bring change. Lewis said Chauvin’s conviction is significant, but it’s just a “drop in the bucket” for what still needs to happen.
The quality of high-speed internet can vary greatly depending on where you live in Iowa. The Greater Des Moines Partnership put together a panel to discuss the challenges ahead in connecting all of Iowa to compete with the world.
In the Insiders Quick 6, Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver answers a question about his future and the life of a college athlete.