UPDATE to the UPDATE: Oh, Iowa! If you don't test people there is no COVID
Reynolds, Pedati knew about free testing program but didn't tell Iowans because of course not.
Click to download the plan Iowa submitted to the US Department of Education - in this document the state claims a robust testing environment in public schools was in place. That was a lie:
This is a long one so buckle up friends.
In June, Dr. Caitlin Pedati of the Iowa Department of Public Health and Governor Kim Reynolds advisor Traci Vitek, former Trump HHS official and health care lobbyist - were made aware of a free COVID19 testing program - yet told no one.
The program through the US Department of Health and Human Services would reach most at risk communities in rural areas, homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, schools, elder care facilities and congregate settings -- but no one knew about it.
Test Iowa is still floundering - infectious disease experts, public health experts and data analysists, disability rights advocates, pharmacists, elected officials - are left with one conclusion: Could it just be the Reynolds administration is actively discouraging broad testing - because if you don’t test, there is no deadly pandemic, right?
The program - Tested and Protected - is a US Department of Human Services funded program designed to reach rural areas, underserved populations, and those most at risk for COVID19 exposure.
State Senator Sarah Trone Garriott who represents District 22 covering parts of West Des Moines, Waukee and Clive, told me via email, "I was forwarded information about this program from a colleague in non-profit work. I was surprised to find out that it was available to schools—I hadn’t heard of it through IDPH or IDE, even though I specifically have been asking for testing resources for schools.”