Early on in the pandemic, whenever I watched a Reynolds press conference I was struck by her attitude of arrogance, even contempt, for the press in the room and by association, all Iowans. She looked bored and put out by having to be there. I wondered why she even bothered.
In spite of these things, it still seemed to me like they were doing their best to truthfully report the numbers in the beginning.
Lately it seems like she’s bothering less and less. Now the plan appears to be (1) deny; (2) obscure; (3) put on a happy face.
The Reynolds administration appears to have abandoned all pretenses of making a good faith effort. They are moving on.
Trump’s shocking discovery that his poll numbers are tanking, to the point that if they don’t improve he is likely to lose re-election in November, has caused him to decide that the pandemic national strategy should be to pretend it isn’t happening. Tell the country it’s time to go back to work and put up a Mission Accomplished banner. Get as many Republican governors as possible to play along. Reward them for their loyalty. Punish them for wearing a mask.
Reynolds was an easy sell. Hell yes she’s on board with the plan because she didn’t have one beyond the Ashton Kucher recommended 26 million dollar dubious testing plan that she quickly snapped up like she ordered it from Amazon without reading the reviews. All the PR boxes checked, done!
Except for the testing being outed as a sham by Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson.
“I feel this whole TestIowa thing is a sham; a $26-million publicity stunt for the Governor’s personal benefit.”
Also potentially a problem for Reynolds is the fact that Covid-19 numbers are surely going to rise in a second surge as Iowans follow her and Trump’s bad advice and abandon social distancing and mitigation practices. Will they still be able to fake it when that happens?
Ever since Reynolds’ private jet flight to the oval office and photo-op resulting in Caitlin Pedati being rewarded with an appointment to the Trump coronavirus task force, Reynolds has obviously gone from sipping to chugging the spiked kool-aid. Self-promotion, insider favors and personal grift are the quid pro quo.
Reynolds is no different than every other Republican who has chosen to cope with Trump by ignoring the harm he is doing and trying to get something out of it for herself. The only members of the Republican party who have not sold their souls are the handful of rebels that make up The Lincoln Project.
This isn’t rocket science. Trump and submissive Republican governors are trying to make it look like the pandemic is over in the hope that Trump’s poll numbers can improve. It’s really that simple.
Now, due to the apparent purposeful obfuscation of the corona virus numbers by the Reynolds administration, citizens are resorting to keeping count on their own. This article in the Gazette is about one such citizen who is achieving a growing following including some elected officials. Scroll down for a link to her FB page and other resources.
“When you are being gaslit about reality and safety on a national and state level,” said Willette, “you have to do something.”
“As case counts and deaths from COVID-19 rise and the state reopens, Iowans are desperate for guidance. Iowa’s governor has stopped giving updates on death totals in her daily news conferences and the data on the state’s website is obscure and constantly in flux. At first, the state analyzed COVID-19 cases by region, with a scoring system. But that was tossed aside when one of the regions reached the highest point of the scoring system. County level data disappeared, then it reappeared. First, rates of infection were reported every 24 hours, now the state updates that in real time, which obscures the number of daily cases.
The site does not provide demographic data by county for cases, recoveries and deaths. The state provides those demographic details only in statewide percentages — not raw numbers.
Additionally, epidemiologists at the University of Iowa were asked for a model to predict Iowa’s peak. That model was tossed aside by the governor”
Follow Sara Ann Willett’s public Facebook page for updates. Link to her public spreadsheet
Rob Hogg is also an excellent source of factual information.
The Iowa Policy Project Facebook page
I am glad someone is watching the information for us as it seems to be hidden in the press conferences now and the new state website makes it harder to get the facts. Thank you Sara!