Thursday, September 24, 2020


Reminder Before Tonight’s IA-02 Debate: Miller-Meeks Failed to Handle the COVID-19 Pandemic

Miller-Meeks’ hypocritical accusations are her latest attempt to run from her anti-worker, anti-health care record

DES MOINES — Ahead of tonight’s 2nd congressional district debate, State Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ attacks on Rita Hart have become increasingly desperate and hypocritical. Miller-Meeks has lobbed false attacks on Hart, a farmer, former State Senator, and teacher, while rewriting her own record of downplaying the coronavirus and refusal to take it seriously at every turn.

Over the course of the pandemic, Miller-Meeks has touted dangerous drugs that could make the virus worse, compared COVID-19 to the flu, supported protections for big corporations over sick Iowans, and refused to wear a mask or adequately follow CDC and White House Coronavirus Task Force guidelines. Her failure to tackle the virus with the severity it deserves is exactly what Iowans have come to expect from her anti-health care record. Miller-Meeks has supported repealing the ACA, a move that would leave people with pre-existing conditions behind and without care, and eliminating guaranteed Medicare coverage for seniors.

Iowa Starting Line: How Mariannette Miller-Meeks Handled The COVID-19 Pandemic

“Mariannette Miller-Meeks kicked off the month of September with a new ad criticizing her Democratic opponent, who holds no elected office, for doing ‘nothing to protect us from the pandemic.’

“Miller-Meeks, meanwhile, is a state senator, physician and former director of the Iowa Department of Public Health who suggested Iowans trust an unproven drug therapy to treat COVID-19 and voted to shield meatpacking plants and other businesses from potential lawsuits over endangering workers’ safety during the pandemic. […]

“Again, Hart holds no elected office. She hasn’t been a member of the Iowa Legislature since 2018 and has never served in Congress, so it’s unclear what Miller-Meeks and her campaign believe she could have done to ‘hold China accountable’ for the coronavirus pandemic and how she could ‘stop viruses from Asia.’

“Miller-Meeks’ own actions throughout the year, however, follow a pattern of not taking the virus seriously and protecting those who endangered others with infection.

“During the first month of the coronavirus in Iowa, Miller-Meeks spoke March 12 on the Senate floor about keeping the “seriousness” of coronavirus “in perspective” and compared it to the flu. In May, WHO-TV reported 96 flu-related deaths had occurred in Iowa since Nov. 2019 — the first month the Iowa Department of Public Health recorded deaths during last year’s flu season. Between March 24, 2020, (the first recorded coronavirus death in Iowa) and May 3 (the date the article was published) 184 Iowans had died due to COVID-19. Today, the death toll stands at 1,293.

“In the early months of the pandemic, Miller-Meeks touted hydroxychloroquine on Twitter despite a large study showing the malaria drug had no discernible benefit for COVID-19 patients and may have worsened health outcomes. […]

“When the Iowa Legislature reconvened in June to wrap up a session interrupted by the pandemic, Miller-Meeks joined her Republican colleagues in advancing legislation to prohibit Iowans from suing a company or health care facility unless they were hospitalized or died due to COVID-19, or if an individual could prove a company intended to cause them harm. The bill also protected companies from coronavirus-related civil damages unless they intentionally exposed an employee to the disease or ‘recklessly’ disregarded government guidance on how to minimize exposure. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the legislation — which also has been a priority of national Republicans — into law June 18. […]

“In June, when called out on the Senate floor by Sen. Bill Dotzler for not wearing a mask, Miller-Meeks argued she did not need to wear a mask so long as she stayed six feet apart from her colleagues.”