WASHINGTON — Donald Trump is holding a rally in Des Moines less than two weeks after publicly announcing his COVID-19 diagnosis and as Iowans battle one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the country. Despite Trump’s own experts recommending a statewide mask mandate and limiting large gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Governor Kim Reynolds and the state GOP have downplayed the harmful impact of COVID-19, peddled baseless conspiracy theories, and refused to implement safety protocols. Des Moines’ own mayor has encouraged rally attendees to wear masks and social distance, but Republicans have ensured that his public health measures can’t be enforced.
Coronavirus cases continue to spike across Iowa, and the state GOP’s failure to stand up to Trump, listen to scientists, and require masks and social distancing could result in another super-spreader event.
“Iowa Republicans have failed to lead since the beginning of this public health crisis,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “The GOP’s callous disregard for science resulted in 1,500 preventable deaths, thousands of jobs lost, and tens of thousands of Iowans sick. Now, they’re welcoming the super-spreader in chief to Iowa with open arms — putting more Iowans at risk of contracting the virus.”
Iowa is now averaging over 1,000 new coronavirus cases per day, with nearly 102,000 infections to date and 1,495 total deaths. Thanks to Republicans, the state is among the highest-risk places in the country for the spread of the virus.