Lindsey James

Some Democratic lawmakers say they heard the Iowa Department of Public Health’s acting director say Governor Reynolds didn’t consult the agency before eliminating pandemic-related restrictions this weekend.

Representative Lindsey James of Dubuque says the statement was made during the weekly call Democratic lawmakers have with the public health department.

“It took my breath away,” James says. “It is mind boggling to me that the governor didn’t consult her own public health experts when making such a major public health decision for our state.”

Reynolds lifted all business restrictions on Sunday and eliminated a requirement for wearing a mask in some public places.

Governor Reynolds was on the Fox News Channel tonight, discussing her decision to dial back the Covid-related restrictions she ordered in November.

“Covid hospitalization numbers are down 80% from where they were at their peak,” Reynolds said. “…Iowans know how to be safe and responsible.”

Reynolds made her comments to host  cable TV host Sean Hannity. The governor told Hannity this evening that Iowa businesses “know how to keep their customers safe” and the State of Iowa “is coming out of Covid in a really strong position.”

(By Iowa Public Radio’s Katarina Sostaric and Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)