Republicans threaten safe return to school

Statement by Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls

As prepared for delivery on August 19, 2021:

“You just heard from Kim Reynolds, who had an opportunity to denounce Marjorie Taylor Greene’s radical conspiracies. She didn’t do that. That’s because Kim Reynolds and Iowa Republicans are enacting MTG’s right-wing conspiracies into law right here at home.

We can’t crush Covid and get back to normal because Governor Kim Reynolds, Senator Jack Whitver, and Iowa Republicans have embraced the far-right, fringe ideas that have consumed the Republican Party. Their policies and failed leadership have allowed for the Delta variant to spread unabated throughout our state, causing preventable deaths, sickness, stress, wage loss, and business closings.

Republican mistakes are why parents all across Iowa are now facing extremely difficult decisions about sending their kids back to unsafe schools.

It’s fitting the Governor announced the return of INDYCAR to Iowa today: her COVID-19 policies have our state going in circles.

Democrats understand the importance of getting our kids safely back in schools. Getting our kids safely back in school is critical for getting our lives back to normal.

Unfortunately, Kim Reynolds and the Republicans in the legislature are preventing our kids from returning safely to in-person school.

Reynolds and the Republicans in the legislature have tied the hands of parents and school boards. They’ve taken away the voice of parents and local communities who want to do the right thing and protect themselves against the Delta variant.

Republicans have created a false choice between no in-person school or extremely unsafe schools. I’ve talked to countless parents who are agonizing about sending kids back to unsafe schools, or upending their lives to keep their kids safe at home for virtual learning or home school.

Governor Reynolds – forcing unvaccinated children back to school isn’t a plan. Continuing to ignore Covid isn’t a plan. Hoping that the Delta variant just goes away isn’t a plan. It’s reckless, it’s dangerous, and it’s putting untold numbers of children, parents, educators, and other staff at severe risk.

When it comes to stopping Covid, Kim Reynolds is all talk, no action.

Simply put, Republicans are to blame for the unabated spread of the Delta variant in our state. They’ve politicized mask wearing, rejected common sense safety measures, and spread outrageous conspiracy theories about the Covid vaccines.

From day one of this crisis, they have failed to take it seriously, and Iowa continues to pay the price for their failures.”