Gov. Kim Reynolds began her Condition of the State tonight with an inspiring story of a California couple who relocated to Iowa, bought a restaurant and built a new life here. Their resilience through the pandemic was used by Reynolds as an example of how Iowa kept its economy open while other states enacted safety and health measures.
This is usually the time in a governor’s speech where she points the people out in the crowd, the camera pans to them, and the crowd cheers. But instead Reynolds noted the couple couldn’t be there tonight, so instead some of their customers were there in their place.
It’s possible that Ilee and Michael Muller of Elkhorn’s Grace on Main restaurant were not in attendance because, per the restaurant’s website, Michael is still recovering from COVID-19. Also, the restaurant that Reynolds used as an example of Iowa staying open during the pandemic is currently closed because the health impacts of the pandemic are still raging across the state.
“Unlike so many states, Iowa’s economy stayed open, and so did Grace on Main,” Reynolds said tonight.
The Shelby County pizza place, however, is closed for the time being.
“Michael is still recovering from COVID,” read the restaurant’s update. “He is still in need of rest. As a result, we will continue to be closed. We had several private parties previously scheduled in January that we will be hosting. We will continue to keep you all apprised of our reopening date via Facebook/Instagram and our website.”
Democrats were unimpressed.
“[Gov. Reynolds] held up this business as an example of why people should move to Iowa and yet her mismanagement of the pandemic has caused them to temporarily close,” the Iowa Democratic Party tweeted out soon after Reynolds’ speech.
by Pat Rynard