Rep. Steve Holt was one of nine legislators to sign a letter on Friday urging Gov. Kim Reynolds to reopen Iowa as soon as possible and to restore the Bill of Rights. Two more legislators signed that letter on Saturday.
And, late Saturday night, Holt took to Facebook to express his thoughts further.
“I believe that Americans and Iowans right now are faced with some interesting choices,” he said.
Holt reminded viewers that 70 percent of COVID-19 cases in Iowa have happened in eight counties. And, because of that, Reynolds is readying the state for a reopening.
“Democrats decided they’re going to use this as a political weapon to attack Gov. Reynolds for reopening Iowa,” he said. “And their message frankly seems to be, well, almost that we just need to hide under the bed for a few more months.”
Iowa “closed” six weeks ago to flatten the curve, Holt said, not to make sure there would be zero risks prior to opening up the economy.
“It was not to commit economic and cultural suicide,” he said.
Despite the deaths that have already happened and those that will inevitably occur, Holt said Iowa and America have done a fantastic job.
“We have the best mortality rate in the world, except I think for Germany. The fact of the matter is we’re going to come out of this with very few people dying statistically compared to all of those nations with socialist health care the Democrats love to talk about. Those systems didn’t do very well,” Holt said.
A recent analysis put out by Iowa State projects a loss of $6.7 billion for Iowa agriculture due to COVID-19 with the largest impacts on pork production and ethanol.
“Now, liberal heads blow off any time we talk about economic consequences,” Holt said. “The claim will be we’re putting dollar signs or the economy or money ahead of saving lives.
“No, we’re not. There are human lives, there are families, there are businesses behind that $6.7 billion figure. We’re not talking about money, we’re talking about the reality of what is behind that money, which is families’ abilities to take care of themselves.”
In 2017, there were 578 deaths in Iowa from the flu and pneumonia, Holt said. The latest projection for Iowa is 365 COVID-19 deaths.
“While no one wants anyone to pass away, we have to remember the families behind the devastating economic numbers we’re seeing,” he said. “The families that will be severely damaged and decimated and we have to remember the families behind the unemployment numbers that we’re hearing.”
With nearly $200 million a month being paid out for unemployment, Holt said there’s only so much the $1.3 billion in Iowa’s unemployment trust fund can provide.
“You can do the math and project out how long it’ll be before the unemployment trust fund no longer has the money to help the families that are behind those numbers,” Holt said.
Recently increased testing has led to a recent increase in positive cases. But, Holt said, Democrats don’t tell that part of the story.
“It is appropriate to begin to open the economy and restore the bill of rights just as soon as possible,” he said. “Are we going to be brave? The future belongs to the brave, not the faint-hearted or the light-hearted, as President Reagan said. I am pretty confident that I know which Iowa is going to choose in the weeks to come.”