Iowa governor Kim Reynolds ranks last among U.S. governors for COVID-19 efforts

Iowa is a nice state. It’s nothing flashy — it has gently rolling hills, lots of cornfields and woodlands, and bordered by the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. People do their jobs, and generally don’t get all that bent out of shape by most things.

Iowa’s governor isn’t doing well at all, though, at least not when it comes to public approval ratings for her handling of COVID-19.

She ranks dead last in the county.

Iowans seem to be stirred up by Reynolds’ approach. That’s a little hard to believe, given how proud Iowans are of their educational system, their “niceness,” and their generally calm, collected way of life.

But Iowans aren’t happy with Reynolds’ approach to managing the coronavirus. A poll in late July shows that only 28 percent approve.

Reynolds, a Republican, has pushed hard to keep meatpacking plants open, even when they seemed to be COVID-19 hotspots. She has refused to mandate masks anywhere in the state, which joins neighboring South Dakota as the only two in the country without some sort of mask mandate. She insists that schools will reopen unless they have high rates of COVID-19. And she has given some weight, at least, to the anti-science forces who claim that masks don’t help prevent the spread of the virus.

She has not, as far as we know, embraced the notion of demon sperm or Christ’s intervention in Facebook as Donald Trump’s friend Dr. Stella Immanuel has done.

But in other ways, Reynolds has out-Trumped Trump.

The result is that she is one of only five governors with lower COVID-management approval than Trump’s. Trump himself checks in at 32 percent.

Back in April, Reynolds had a 58 percent approval rating, and the state Republican Party was posting ecstatic self-congratulations. Now? Probably not so much evidence of ecstasy in GOP Land in Iowa.

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