West Des Moines, IA – Local business, community leaders and elected officials held a press conference on Thursday afternoon calling on Governor Reynolds to issue a statewide enforceable mask mandate.
West Des Moines Councilmember At-Large & Mayor Pro Tem, Renee Hardman; State Senator, Claire Celsi; State Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad; Eddie Mauro, President NFAF, Business owner and Al Womble, State Director, New Frontier Action Fund were among the speakers at the conference at the Depot Shelter, Valley Junction, West Des Moines calling for Gov. Reynolds, the Department of Inspections & Appeals and the Iowa Legislature to institute a statewide mandate .
“Governor Reynolds was given the responsibility of managing the pandemic, we really wanted her to succeed but it’s clear that her piecemeal approach has failed.” State Senator, Claire Celsi said during the conference.
“We all want our favorite shops to stay open, we want all the shops to stay open, we all want our favorite lunch spots to stay open, we all want our kids to go to school safely, wearing masks is the proven way to make all these things happen faster.” she added.
“Mask requirement is not a political issue, it is a health issue” said West Des Moines Councilmember At-Large & Mayor Pro Tem, Renee Hardman.
“COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on minorities and people of color. Masks protect you and masks protect me. We need to have a unified approach to require people to wear masks. Masks save lives.” Hardman added.
Recent study research out of Washington University in St. Louis has found that mask requirements have had a positive effect on GDP and consumer spending in states and localities that have implemented them.
The latest White House Coronavirus Task Force report has found Iowa had nearly triple the national rate of new COVID-19 infections last week.
The report recommends the state take immediate actions such as a mask mandate to lower the mortality rates among Iowans as hospitalizations continue to hit record levels.