Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne, a Democrat from West Des Moines has sent a letter to Governor Kim Reynolds urging Reynolds to issue a “stay-at-home” order to fight the coronavirus. Rep Axne letter to Govenor PDF
Axne says she’s concerned that the numbers in the state are going to get worse. “The Iowa Department of Public Health has seen information that our cases will peak in just a couple of weeks — so I think it’s time that we get ahead of this as much as we possibly can given the lack of personal protective equipment and supplies in our health care industry — and make sure that we keep people safe,” Axne says.
Axne says she has had conversations with the governor on the issue. “I absolutely think the governor has been looking at the realities on the ground every step of the way, and I definitely appreciate the transparency that she’s had in that and the daily briefings that she’s had with the public. But I fear that recommending that people stay home in the next few weeks is not enough,” Axne says. “I’m sure she’s looking at, I know she’s looking at the data on a regular basis. But I think we need to bee looking ahead, as opposed to just the data that we are seeing in the past.”
Democrats on the national level have been critical of how Republican President Donald Trump has handled the coronavirus situation. Fellow Iowa Democrat Congresswoman Abbie Finkenauer sent a similar letter to the Republican Reynolds last week. Axne says her letter is not politically motivated.
“Well, that’s certainly not the case. I think that it’s inadvisable for anybody to try to look at the coronavirus and what is happening to this country from a political perspective. Listen, I’ve been there in support of the governor and the things that she’s been doing to try and keep Iowans safe and keep things going. I just believe at this time that it’s time we make a difference,” according to Axne. Axne says as an elected official she has “a responsibility to the people that I represent to protect them and help them lead better lives.”
“It’s not a political statement — it’s a statement about what I think is the right move to take — not just from a healthcare perspective, but to help us get back on our feet from an economic perspective more quickly. You know, the faster that we can move through this by keeping more people healthy, the quicker we’ll be able to get back up and running as a country,” Axne says. “And I am really concerned about both of those issues. First and foremost that nobody else dies in our state, or has compromised health result of this.”
Axne says putting a “stay-at-home” order in place would legally require Iowans to comply. “It certainly changes the opportunity for folks to go out. We keep the essential employees working obviously…keep our grocery stores open. But it does mean that every Iowan will have to take this outbreak seriously,” Axne says. “When you put an order in place it’s a law, and in and of itself, that will keep a lot more people inside where they need to be — not to mention — it sends a message about the seriousness of this.”
Governor Reynolds has been repeatedly asked about the “stay at home” issue and said again in her daily briefing Tuesday that the orders she has issued would work if everyone would follow them. She said, “I can’t lock the state down. I can’t lock everybody in their home.”