Report Comes as Senator Ernst AGAIN “Declined to Answer Questions” on Audio of Trump Admitting He Misled Americans on COVID-19 Threat

After Senator Joni Ernst spent the better part of two weeks hiding from her COVID-19 conspiracy theory scandal, Iowa Starting Line is now reporting internal emails from the Iowa Medical Society revealing that Ernst refused to commit to publicly apologizing for spreading the dangerous misinformation.

Senator Ernst has been in “hot water” with medical and infectious disease experts after falsely claiming that doctors are inflating COVID-19 deaths and cases for profit. Leading experts including the U.S. Surgeon General, the Chief Clinical Office of UnityPoint – Des Moines, and scores of frontline health care workers across Iowa have spoken out to discredit her conspiracy theories.

The email discloses that the Iowa Medical Society – who have expressed fear that Ernst’s comments could lead Iowans to take the pandemic “less seriously” – sought a meeting with Ernst to educate her on the virus and debunk her dangerous claims. However, Senator Ernst still refuses to grasp the seriousness of her actions, and refuses to explain why she pushed the ideas and denounce them altogether.

Iowa Starting Line: Ernst Privately Apologized For COVID Comments, Declines Public Apology

By: Pat Rynard

September 10, 2020

  • Sen. Joni Ernst privately apologized to an Iowa medical organization for her comments two weeks ago where she implied health care workers were inflating COVID-19 totals and gave credence to pandemic conspiracy theories. However, she declined to issue a public apology to further walk back the statements that doctors have worried would lead Iowans to not take the coronavirus seriously.
  • “The Senator apologized on the call for what she described as misstatements on her behalf but stopped short of committing to a public apology,” the Iowa Medical Society said in an email to their members this week. 
  • According to emails obtained by Starting Line, Ernst had a meeting last Friday with the executive board of the Iowa Medical Society, which represents 6,000 Iowa physicians, residents and medical students, to discuss her comments at an Aug. 31 event in Waterloo. The IMS had put out a statement after Ernst’s remarks drew significant media coverage, calling them “incredibly disappointing” and saying, “Now is not the time to spread mistruths and distrust.”
  • The purpose of the meeting was “to convey the concerns of Iowa’s medical community” and to emphasize to Ernst the “danger of furthering mistruths” about Iowa health care workers.
  • Ernst drew widespread condemnation for suggesting in Waterloo that Iowa health care workers may be intentionally miscoding COVID-19 cases in their patients in order to receive more funding for their care.
  • Meanwhile today, Ernst continued to dodge questions over Donald Trump’s interview from March where he said he intentionally downplayed the virus to the American public.

Read the full report here.