Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds
Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican and strong Trump supporter, resisted mask mandates and shutdowns for months while the coronavirus spread through the state.
She flaunted dire warnings from the White House coronavirus task force to institute a mask mandate and attended a Trump rally without a mask, sending the wrong signal to her constituents.
Now, Iowa is behind only the Dakotas in its measure of new coronavirus cases when adjusted for population.
It also has the fourth-highest number of people hospitalized per capita. Its seven-day positivity rate is more than 50%, behind just South Dakota and Wyoming.
The dire situation finally convinced Reynolds to imposed a new health order requiring masks indoors and further limiting indoor gatherings to 15 people.
She said hospitals have been pushed to the brink by the spread of the virus, and she accused many Iowans of becoming “complacent” about the need to flatten the curve.
“That doesn’t mean that these changes will be easy or popular, but they’re necessary if we want to keep our businesses open, our kids in school and our health care systems stable,” she said.