Governor Kim Reynolds says she had nothing to do with the removal of the lead spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Public Health.
Former spokesperson Polly Carver-Kimm says she believes she’s a casualty of the pressure the department’s been under in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The governor was asked about it today at her news conference.
“Well, that would be something that you would need to check with the director Department of Public Health. I don’t micromanage our agencies, I am not involved in personnel decisions,” Reynolds says. Carver-Kim told Radio Iowa she believes she was let go because “we kind of closed up a little bit.”
The governor was asked if Carver-Kimm was giving out too much information to the media. “No,” the governor said and paused and then continued, “I was not involved in that decision whatsoever.”
The current person handling questions about the issue responded that the Department of Public Health Director Gerd Clabaugh said “there is a desire to make changes in the area of communications at the department.” Clayaugh is leaving his job July 31st.
Carver-Kimm said she believes all the people who work at IDPH have the best interests of the health of Iowans in mind and “it’s no surprise to anyone that’s become a political football, too, and so all of the media is vetting by the governor’s office.”
Carver-Kimm is married to Radio Iowa sports director Todd Kimm. She was a long-time reporter and morning talk show host at a Des Moines radio station before she was hired to work in the public health department in 2007.