In 1969 Dave Garroway (Kidz – Google it!) was the host of this enormously popular show on NBC called “The Today Show.“
Fifteen years after the first of the nationwide tests for the polio vaccine that began in McLean, Va., Garroway had been tapped by the March of Dimes to MC a banquet to honor Jonas Salk.
At the dinner, Garroway began his hosting duties with, “As I was leaving to come here tonight…,” and described his getting dressed to go to the testimonial dinner. His 11-year old son, Dave Jr., saw him getting dressed and asked his dad where he was going.
Garroway Sr.: “To a dinner for Dr. Salk.”
Garroway Jr.: “Who’s Dr. Salk?”
Garroway Sr.. “He’s the man who found the vaccine for polio.”
Garroway Jr. (puzzled): “What’s polio?”
And the room went silent. And Dr. Salk was reported to have been visibly moved.
Unfortunately it doesn’t look like we will have a repeat of this scenario anytime in the future thanks almost entirely to the Republican Party. In Iowa the blame lays largely on the head of the governor Kim Reynolds and the seemingly anonymous band of Republican legislators who walk lockstep with the radical right wing agenda of Donald Trump.
Right now, Iowans are gearing up to send their kids back to school. This is normally a time of hope and a time of angst in every household with children and in the houses of Grandma and Grandpa. After last year’s severely disrupted school year, this year is creating even more angst. But of course, this year has even more angst because those to whom we have entrusted the lives and good health of our youngsters instead seem to be driven by some strange allegiance to politics over common sense.
Back at the end of May our joke of a governor decided to sign into law a bill that would make mask mandates illegal for school districts to impose. Why anyone would do that is good fodder for speculation. You can certainly cross “for the good of the student” off the list immediately. There seems to be a much darker purpose behind her signing this bill.
My speculation is that Governor Reynolds signed the bill for purely political reasons. First she will be running for governor again. Since the Republican Party in the US and especially in Iowa is a subsidiary of the Trump Company. As Americans learned over four horrible years, crossing Trump’s wishes earns retribution. Trumpers believe there is somehow something wrong with wearing masks. Therefore a future candidate who wants a Trump endorsement better do what he wants or. they may earn loud scorn from Trump instead of praise and an endorsement.
As if that weren’t cowardly and craven enough – and this is my opinion only – I believe Reynolds has her sights set on the Vice-presidential office as a running mate for Donald Trump. If that is true then she certainly does not want to cross Trump. But she is hardly the only one who seems to be jockeying for that position. Just here in the midwest we have Kristi Noem governor of the state with the worst Covid per capita numbers in South Dakota and Pete Ricketts, governor of Nebraska who thumbs his nose constantly at CDC guidelines.
If someone knows what logic was behind Reynolds bill signing I would be curious. The health of our children, especially that large swath under 12 that currently cannot be vaccinated, was probably nowhere in her thoughts. If they were she would not have removed one of the very essential tools kids will have to keep themselves safe.
Instead of being a leader in the War against Covid, Kim Reynolds acts as if she were a colonel in the Covid army. So glad we did not have leaders like her in World War 2 or this would probably have been written in German.
If anything, Reynolds may have been a victim of disinformation and misinformation. She may have for some reason believed that children were somehow not going to spread the virus. If that is true, that is one more very good reason why she should be removed as Iowa’s governor as quickly as possible. She is a parent herself, so has no doubt gone through the wave of flu and colds that sweep through schools. She also must have at least one doctor on her staff who could have told her that infections spread in children in schools like wildfire.
I sincerely hope that somehow Iowa will be spared death of children from Covid this school year, but the state has made that difficult. Hopefully school boards will step in with some common sense and mandate masks, especially for the under 12. Republicans always say policy should be made closest to those affected. in this case that is the local school board.
Maybe one good thing could come from this – maybe our youngsters will learn about civil disobedience to authority that is way overstepping its boundaries. Maybe they will also learn that the good of the whole is more important than the good of the individual and there are ways to compromise.
And of course the other good thing that could come of this is that Iowans will realize what a truly horrible governor Reynolds has been and finally remove her.