Democrat J.D. Scholten and Republican Randy Feenstra were asked about COVID during their debate on Wednesday.
State Sen. Randy Feenstra offered his thoughts and prayers for those who have had COVID. He then listed some things he believes we need to do.
“We’ve got to take it seriously,” he said. “We have to social distance. We have to wear masks. We have to make sure that we do everything possible for our neighbors and for our friends to keep them safe. But we also have to make sure that we continue to keep the economy open.”
Moderator Dave Price asked if we should require anything — like masks.
“I think each community has to decide and each school district is going down that path of deciding who, you know, when, uh, masks need to be worn,” Feenstra said.
“But they can’t do that,” Price said.
“I teach at Dordt University right now and we mandated masks,” Feenstra said.
“But because of the Governor’s rules, local communities do not have that decision,” Price asked. “It’s really voluntary, right?”
“Exactly,” Feenstra said.
Scholten said there needs to be a national plan, noting that there’s been a lack of leadership nationally and in Des Moines.
“The CDC came out with a thing that said there was many preventable deaths here in the state of Iowa,” Scholten said. “We have this one foot in, one foot out approach.”
Scholten called for testing to be increased. He also asked for a national plan to work with local school boards. He called for testing “everybody” to figure out where the virus is at and to begin isolating.
Price asked the candidates if they believe the country is taking COVID seriously enough.
“I think we have to continue to take it even more seriously,” Feenstra said. “It’s been devastating.”
Feenstra said he wears a mask anywhere he goes and that individuals must take it upon themselves to wear a mask.