To deal with its response to the coronavirus, Iowa is working closest with the same governors it did during last year’s flooding, Gov. Kim Reynolds said this morning.
Those states, she said, include Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Arkansas and Missouri. She said she thinks they’ve also reached out to Kansas.
Apart from Missouri and Kansas, none of the states have issued stay-at-home orders for their populations. All but Kansas have Republican governors.
“That’s kind of a unit we’ve been working with to start to talk about how we reopen as a region,” Reynolds said. “Which is a relationship that already existed, working through some really tough flooding that we had take place this last year.”
Iowa experienced significant flooding along both the Missouri River, on its western border, and the Mississippi River, on its eastern, last year.
Reynolds said Iowa has been in constant contact with every state to share information because of the calls set up by Vice President Mike Pence. She said that through those calls she’s learned how other states have handled their outbreaks.
But Iowa has decided to opt out of other partnerships in the Midwest.
Yesterday, Starting Line reported Iowa isn’t part of the new coalition of Midwestern states formed to consult and coordinate the reopening of state economies and societies. It’s reported that Reynolds opted out of joining the group when asked. The governors of Missouri and the Dakotas did, too.
Reynolds, as she did again today, has previously noted that she has been calling Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska the most often to compare plans.
Iowa’s worst outbreaks are on the eastern side of the state — which borders Illinois and Wisconsin, two states that are in the Midwestern partnership. The western side of the state has been less effected, though there’s concerns in Northwest Iowa about their proximity to Sioux Falls, home to the massive Smithfield Foods outbreak.
When asked whether she’s talked with Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Reynolds said, “I’ve worked with Prtizker on several issues. I mean, we continue to communicate and talk about what we’re doing.”
But because relationships with the other states were already established, Iowa is working closely with them on its coronavirus response.
“It’s just these are the ones we’ve kind of worked with and had already been working with and so we’ve got kind of a group,” Reynolds said.
by Nikoel Hytrek
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