GUEST COLUMN

Mauro: State needs virus testing, ‘pop-up’ hospitals, deployment of National Guard

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mauro eddie 19-05-20

Eddie Mauro

We need coronavirus testing in Iowa, and we need it now. The Des Moines Register is reporting that sick Iowans are being denied virus screenings, and that could endanger public health.

Mauro address

I’m calling on Governor Reynolds to mobilize the Iowa Army National Guard to bring aid to communities across the state, including the building of pop-up hospitals to be made available to the ever-growing population of Iowans with COVID-19.

I’m also demanding the federal government release the stockpile of N95 Personal Protection Masks to our medical professionals, our first responders.

Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate based on age, gender, race, sexual orientation, income or immigration status — but it is beginning to seem that testing for coronavirus does.

While it is important for those that have been traveling like NBA players and politicians to be tested, it is imperative that we treat each and every American the same during this challenge. That includes a massive testing program that is universal, equitable, expeditious and free.

Iowans deserve action. One of the greatest barriers to our public health response is our understanding of who has it, who doesn’t and how it is being transmitted. We need to establish protective measures for those who test positive and help socially and physically distance and isolate the vulnerable who currently are safe.

Iowans are strong, resilient and good neighbors. This virus and challenge will be around for many weeks, and potentially many months, and the success of containing this pandemic rests on the public trust.

We need leaders willing to take bold action now, more than ever.

That’s why I’m calling on Governor Kim Reynolds and the Trump Administration to marshal a statewide and national effort to engage government, private industry, experts in logistics and health care to deploy tests available to every person in this country — for free.

It is not enough to rely on just the private sector to develop tests. It is not enough for private insurance carriers to waive co-pays. This is a national disaster, and it requires our collective energy and will to confront it.

I’ve worked in vulnerable communities across Iowa, and internationally, for decades. The time for delay and inaction is over. Politics as usual won’t solve this problem, and it endangers future generations due to poor responses to future pandemics.

We need to test as many Iowans as we can for this virus, and we need to do it now. Log on to www.eddiemauro.com to learn about my six-point federal plan for a pandemic response. Let’s work together, Iowa, and get this done.

Eddie Mauro is a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

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