Thursday, May 13, 2021
Governor Kim Reynolds says no reason to fear COVID any longer
(Radio Iowa) - Governor Kim Reynolds says there's no reason to fear Covid-19 any longer. She says Covid case numbers in Iowa are at a 10 month low, the number of Iowa hospital patients being treated for Covid is down 90 percent from the high point in November, and about half the state's adults are fully vaccinated.
"Life really is getting back to normal," Reynolds says, "and all around us, there are more signs of it."
Reynolds says it's time to lean FURTHER into normal and that's why she has declared that the three-hundred extra dollars in federal benefits for unemployment Iowans will end June 12th.
"Jobs are readily available and employers are eager to hire," Reynolds says, "and it's time to get back to work."
House Democratic Leader Todd Prichard says the governor's move is heartless and shows Reynolds is willing to use vulnerable Iowans as a stepping stone for her own political gain. Reynolds says regular unemployment will continue. And, to other critics who say more Iowans would join the workforce if businesses offered better pay, Reynolds says the market is taking care of that.
"I love it when I have businesses tell me they're having some of their best years ever and they've got orders that are waiting to be filled," Reynolds says. "They just can't find employees to help build the equipment, so I think these are great jobs, they have benefits, there's opportunities for growth...and you're seeing wages adjust accordingly."
The governor says many state employees who've been working from home will be returning to their offices in the coming weeks. Reynolds says state agencies are assessing which jobs can be done remotely.
"I'm excited about that because I think that opens up the application pool statewide," Reynolds says, "and that gives people that don't necessarily live in the metro areas the opportunity to be a state employee."
Reynolds says she plans to meet with businesses and organizations over the next few days to discuss how all can return to more normal work, business and entertainment experiences.
"There's no reason for us to fear Covid-19 any longer," Reynolds says. "We know how to manage it and individuals can be trusted to make decisions that will keep us on a path forward. I believe Iowans are ready to live our lives more fully again and I think we've earned it."
Reynolds made her comments late this (Wednesday) morning during a news conference to highlight the state's response to increased demand at food pantries and food banks. Officials say more than 400-thousand Iowans are food insecure and the need for food assistance is 50 percent higher than than it was two years ago.
Full News Listings