The debate was taped 24 hours after President Trump entered the hospital and it began with an announcement that both candidates had recently tested negative for Covid, and Greenfield said: “Thank goodness.”
“It is a solemn time right now with our president in the hospital, with a number of senators, with Americans sick with this virus,” she said.
Ernst said congress must provide another round of loans to small businesses and economic assistance to the child care industry as well as more money for testing.
“We’ve been successful with the packages that we’ve moved before and we continue to work on the next relief package,” Ernst said.
Greenfield twice criticized Ernst for saying in September that she’s skeptical of Covid tests because she’d heard conversations about health care providers being reimbursed at a higher rate for Covid patient care.
“She did push a conspiracy theory that suggested our doctors and our nurses are liars and cheats and that’s just appropriate and wrong,” Greenfield said. “Senator Ernst, if you don’t believe in our doctors and nurses, why should they believe in you?”
Ernst said she was sorry if her words may have offended health care workers.
“It was the culmination of a number of conversations we have had, whether we were getting false positives, false negatives. It’s a matter of reporting,” Ernst said. “…Certainly, we want to make sure that testing is accurate. We want to make sure it’s being reported accurately.”
At the end of the debate, Ernst asked Greenfield — who works in real estate — to apologize for moving businesses out of a central Iowa strip mall to make way for an Aldi grocery store.
“You booted the mom-and-pop shops out of a development area to make way for a foreign corporation,” Ernst said.
Greenfield said it was an economic development project.
“We gave every single tenant more notice than was required and we helped many of them move on to a new location,” Greenfield said.
Iowa’s senate race is among the most competitive in the country. A recent Des Moines Register “Iowa Poll” found Greenfield with a narrow lead over Ernst. Last (Saturday) night’s debate was also broadcast on KCAU in Sioux City and WHBF in the Quad Cities.