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Democrats say Governor not doing her job with appointments to Board of Health

Ross Wilburn

DES MOINES — Iowa Democrats are using a lack of members on the Iowa Board of Health to criticize Republican Governor Kim Reynolds’ handling of the pandemic.

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn, told reporters the Board of Health does not have enough members for a quorum and had to cancel its July 14th meeting. “We need real leadership to help us reverse the course that we are on — and I am calling on Governor Reynolds to do her job and appoint individuals to the state Board of Health so we can continue to have that advice. To have that public input, to have the professionals on the State Board of Health to give that support and that advice as we continue to recover from the pandemic,” Wilburn says.

Seven of the 11 seats on the board are currently open. Democrat State Senator Liz Mathis of Hiawatha, is on the Human Resources Committee which oversees the Board of Health. “Governor Reynolds needs to get to this, she needs to fill these positions so that the state Board of Health is able to function through this pandemic, during this pandemic, and after this pandemic quite frankly– because there is a lot of planning that needs to go into effect,” Mathis says.

Mathis says there are other positions on boards that have not been filled they talked to a liaison in the governor’s office. “We really pushed it, we pressed it. He got back to us with an answer and the answer was that there was someone absent or missing from the decision-making process,” according to Mathis. “This should have been done by now. This is mismanagement and it is going to slow any kind of potential solutions on what will go on with the pandemic and overall public health.”

Mathis says they believe there were enough people interested in serving on the Board of Health.

The governor’s office has not responded with a request for comment on the issue.


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