Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Fights COVID In Schools With Word Salad, Not Masks


Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is yet another Republican governor who's proud to have protected her state's residents from government overreach by banning public schools from requiring face masks. It's all about freedom and individual responsibility, as you'd expect, but Reynolds was happy to sit down with Des Moines TV station KCRG to explain why she's not about to reverse that ban. If by "explain" you mean saying the word "data" again and again until it loses all meaning, and to complain that there's just not very good data on whether masks help the spread of the coronavirus (reality: there's plenty of data), and besides, do we really know whether it's a good idea to trust our children's health to an android who can't even tell a joke?

We aren't even sure whether it's a bad thing that KCRG's video can't be embedded. The batshit insanity of what Reynolds says probably stands out more clearly in transcript form, where you're in less danger of being sent into a trance by the repetition.

KCRG's Beth Malicki pointed out that in Louisiana and other states, the beginning of the school year has already led to COVID outbreaks, and that the CDC is trying to determine whether the Delta variant is more dangerous to children than previous versions of the coronavirus. With that in mind, what would it take, she asked, for Reynolds to allow school districts to require masking?

See if you can follow Reynolds's stream of craziness here:

So right now, I'd like to see data, they're not very transparent with the data I've asked for a lot of data on their requirement for mask and they have not been forthcoming. It's a recommendation, it is guidance, we can find data on both sides of the issue, the impact that it potentially has to children and so I want to make sure that we're being transparent with the data we want to make sure that we're getting accurate data I mean some of their original data that they sourced was a site with a test, or research out of India with a vaccine that we don't even use and so when you do things like that it tends to make people uncomfortable with what we're basing those decisions on. And so I think we just want to make sure that we're looking at all of the data that we're taking everything into account. and right now we're not seeing that transfer into hospitalizations with children but we monitor this monitor the data every single day and we'll continue to monitor the data every day, and we'll respond accordingly.

She wants "them" to be transparent with the data, but "we" also have to be transparent with the data, and also both sides have data, and what about India where the vaccines are different (which would have fuck all to do with masks in schools, or for that matter the effect of the Delta variant on unvaccinated kids).

In short, Reynolds seems to be saying she won't rethink allowing mask mandates until Iowa children start getting hospitalized in large numbers. Gosh, if only there were some simple, non-medical way to prevent that!

Reynolds may soon get some additional data to say "data" about, since in the last week, infections and hospitalizations are both up sharply in Iowa.

Reynolds added that if parents prefer to have their children mask up, well that's great, because really,

if you're a parent, that knows the health of your children, and you have made a decision based on what you know your child has either dealt with or been exposed to or their underlying condition then that parents can make that decision as to whether they want to have their child wear a mask or not.

Asked if she thought masks in schools would reduce the spread of the virus, Reynolds said that in the earlier waves of the pandemic, most exposures weren't occurring in schools, which is generally true, but ignores the fact that communities around the country are in fact seeing outbreaks in schools and surprisingly high rates of hospitalizations of children.

Reynolds wouldn't even agree to the simple (and as we've said, accurate) proposition that masks are effective:

Well, N-95s work, yeah, they work if you wear them right. There's also data that says that they don't. I mean, there's data on both sides so you can find.

Malicki followed that up with a very good question about such "data on both sides" nonsense: Does Reynolds find the data equally persuasive for and against the efficacy of masks? Then it was time for the data expert to start hedging fast, and to shift the conversation to the decidedly non-data-driven claim that parents know best:

Oh, listen I'm not a scientist, so I have to take, I have to do the best that I can do with the information that I received, but really what I think I need to do is, I don't know. I don't know what's going on in your family. I don't know what concerns that you have, you're a mom of those, your children and you're, you guys can make that decision. And so I really do believe that we need to put parents. We need to give them a say in moving in how and what their kids do.

She's not a scientist, and so really, there's simply no way of knowing what the science is. So let's leave it up to other non-scientists and then once kids start going to the hospital and dying, we'll see if that merits a change, OK? Maybe Tucker Carlson can tell us what science is.

[KCRG-TV / Iowa Capital Dispatch]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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