The candidates in Iowa’s third congressional district agree the federal government should be spending money to ensure there’s an adequate supply of masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment in the United States.
Congresswoman Cindy Axne, a Democrat from West Des Moines who is seeking a second term, says the Paycheck Protection Program should be re-opened to small businesses.
“That’s what’s in the latest bill that we’ve got put together,” Axne said, “those who have been hit hardest by Covid and those who are the smallest businesses.”
Former Republican Congressman David Young of Van Meter, who lost to Axne in 2018, says there were bottlenecks in distributing the first round of federal help for small businesses.
“We found some busineses as well that are structured differently,” Young says, “and may not have been able to accept the traditional first round of funding for our small businesses.”
Young and Axne, along with Libertarian candidate Bryan Jack Holder, debated last night for an hour on KMA Radio. The candidates were asked to rate President Trump’s response to the pandemic. Young said the Trump Administration appropriately focused on speeding up Covid vaccine trials.
“Here’s how I see this and how a lot of Iowans tell me they see it as well: they tell me they want to know what Covid-19 is, what this virus is,” Young said. “They want to make sure, then, that they know to take precautions against it. They want to make sure that if they get it, do they have health care and are able to take care of their loved ones.”
Axne faulted Trump for failing to implement the National Production Act this spring to manufacture masks and other PPE.
“95% of the supplies that we needed are produced outside of our country,” Axne said. “We needed to implement that immediately to put PPE in the hands of our health care workers, first responders, people in our nursing home centers — everybody who is most vulnerable to this.”
And Axne said once a Covid vaccine is available, American should be able to get a shot for free. Holder gave Trump’s response to Covid a B-.
(By Mike Peterson, KMA, Shenandoah)