DES MOINES — Iowa Democratic Party Chair Mark Smith released the following statement in response to Governor Kim Reynolds’ Condition of the State Address:

“Iowa Democrats are ready to move forward on a path that brings COVID-19 relief to our communities, resources and vaccines for frontline workers, and meaningful plans for our schools and teachers.

“Unfortunately what we heard tonight from Governor Reynolds was more of the same. The same lack of transparency or detailed plans to distribute the vaccine and combat the concerning spread of the pandemic in our state. More of the same talking points about reopening schools without guaranteeing the public health resources and guidance that schools and parents need to keep our students and teachers safe in the classroom.

“Governor Reynolds utterly failed to respond to the rampant spread of COVID-19 and Iowans are paying the price. She was one of the last governors in the country to issue a statewide mask mandate, the state’s criteria for in-person learning is far more lenient than the CDC recommends, and the only response plan she’s ever produced involves repayment for $21 million in misallocated COVID-19 relief funds.

“While other states quickly approached the virus using CDC guidelines, Reynolds chose the political path, swapping up-to-date recommendations from the White House Task Force for Trump’s propaganda at every turn. Now, more than 298,000 Iowans have gotten sick from COVID-19 and 4,222 have died under her haphazard response.

“Democratic leaders have plans to bring much needed relief to frontline workers, overburdened local public services, small businesses, and Iowans who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Iowans need Governor Reynolds and the Republican legislature to listen to the thousands of health care workers, teachers, workers, and families who are pleading for a plan to tackle the coronavirus in our state. We cannot wait any longer for Governor Reynolds to act.”