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Reynolds: New CDC mask guidance ‘not grounded in reality or common sense’

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 3:54 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - Gov. Kim Reynolds decried the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new face mask guidance on Tuesday, while encouraging vaccination among Iowa’s population.

“The Biden Administration’s new COVID-19 guidance telling fully vaccinated Iowans to now wear masks is not only counterproductive to our vaccination efforts, but also not grounded in reality or common sense,” Reynolds said, in a statement. “I’m concerned that this guidance will be used as a vehicle to mandate masks in states and schools across the country, something I do not support.”

Reynolds issued the statement after the CDC updated its recommendations, saying that vaccinated people should wear masks in public indoor spaces where the community spread of COVID-19 is high. The guidance also said that all people in kindergarten-through-12th-grade school buildings should wear masks, though Dr. Rochell Walensky, the CDC’s director, said that classes should be held in person on a full-time basis this fall.

The statement said that Reynolds still encouraged people to get a vaccine against COVID-19, which she called “our strongest tool to combat” the virus. Only 46.6% of Iowa’s population has completed their vaccination course, according to the state’s once-weekly-updated coronavirus dashboard.

The Iowa Legislature passed House File 847 during the last day of the session, which prohibits local governments, including school districts, from requiring face masks. Reynolds signed the bill into law, saying that it was “to protect the rights of all Iowans to make their own health care decision.”

Read Gov. Reynolds’ full statement below:

“The Biden Administration’s new COVID-19 guidance telling fully vaccinated Iowans to now wear masks is not only counterproductive to our vaccination efforts, but also not grounded in reality or common sense. I’m concerned that this guidance will be used as a vehicle to mandate masks in states and schools across the country, something I do not support.

The vaccine remains our strongest tool to combat COVID-19, which is why we are going to continue to encourage everyone to get the vaccine.

I am proud that we recently put new laws in place that will protect Iowans against unnecessary government mandates in our schools and local governments. As I have throughout this pandemic, I trust Iowans to do the right thing.”

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