The country is registering an average of more than 158,000 new cases per day, the highest ever epidemic; More than 76,000 people have been hospitalized with the virus nationwide, higher than earlier peaks; And deaths are rising again. President Trump has largely cited the governors’ response to the epidemic, and the states where the virus is emerging at the highest rates – North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa – are all Republican-led.
In Iowa, Ms. Reynolds had been facing pressure for months – from mayors, doctors, nurses and farmers, who feared rising cases could disrupt the food supply chain in a state where agriculture and meat processing are key industries.
Like most other governors, Ms. Reynolds closed businesses in the spring, but she Opposed to issue home stay order And masks were not needed to reopen communities.
Now, as the virus grows in the Midwest, more than 4,100 people are testing on average every day for the virus in Iowa, an 86 percent increase over the past two weeks. The number of hospitalizations doubled in the same period, and coronovirus patients now treat one in every four hospitals in the state.
The crisis was an important step last week, when the Iowa State Board of Health, whose member Ms. Reynolds was appointed, urged her to issue a mask mandate. The board’s opinion itself was an indication that the deteriorating toll of the virus has forced people to change their thinking. Board members, most of whom are Republicans and work in health care, had discussed face coverings in previous meetings, but did not favor the mandate.
However, at a recent meeting, he voted 7 to 2 to encourage the governor to issue orders.
“Circumstances have changed drastically in Iowa,” Board Vice President Chris Attison said he said he can only recall one other instance in which members had made a recommendation to the governor in his more than three years on the board.