A rural Iowa doctor's ongoing pandemic experience

Dr. Greg Cohen: “I still see patients who trust me with their diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, and lives, but believe I am lying to them about COVID.”

I am sad. I am frustrated. I am frustrated. I am hopeful. I am resolute, and I am just so tired.

I have written previously about my feelings and experiences as a rural Iowa family physician during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So where are we now? I still go to work every day and see whoever needs to be seen—sick or otherwise—with whatever PPE is available (that has gotten better).

Earlier this summer we were seeing one or two COVID patients every one or two weeks. Now we see multiple cases every day. We have coronavirus patients continuously in the hospital again.

Continue Reading...

J.D. Scholten to help Democrats "up our game in rural America"

“Right now, Democratic policies are very popular,” said J.D. Scholten in a video revealing his future plans. “However, they’re being drowned [out] by mis- and disinformation. We have to remember that we’re just a handful of states and under 100,000 votes from a Donald Trump second term and a Republican-controlled House and Senate.”

Many Iowa Democrats–including Scholten’s own parents–saw the two-time Congressional candidate as a possible 2022 contender for U.S. Senate. Others encouraged him to run for governor. But Scholten announced on July 13 that he won’t run for any elected office next year. Instead, he will serve as the executive director of RuralVote.org, a super-PAC with a mission “to improve the Democratic brand in rural communities and empower local advocates to battle misinformation in their communities.”

Continue Reading...

Iowa vaccination rates still show racial, geographical disparities

Racial disparities in Iowa’s COVID-19 vaccinations have narrowed during the eight weeks since all adults became eligible to get a shot. However, even with many vaccination sites now accepting walk-ins, reducing barriers associated with online scheduling, people of color and especially Black and Latino Iowans have received fewer doses per capita than white people.

In addition, county-level data show a wide gap between the Iowa counties with the highest and lowest vaccination rates. As in most other states, vaccination rates appear to be correlated with political and demographic features. Residents of more urban and more Democratic counties are more likely to be vaccinated than those living in rural and heavily Republican areas.

Continue Reading...

Rural broadband: A mirage

Dan Piller: Far from rescuing rural Iowa, more broadband will hasten the exodus from farms and small towns into the cities. -promoted by Laura Belin

Everybody loves the idea of spending billions of tax dollars to wire the countryside with high speed broadband that is otherwise economically unfeasible. President Donald Trump took a few minutes away from trying to overturn the election last December to reward his loyal rural supporters with $10 billion for the high-speed internet access. President Joe Biden wants to set aside billions more for rural broadband in his “infrastructure” master plan.

In Iowa, Democrats are so cowed by the popularity of rural broadband they’ve acquiesced to Governor Kim Reynolds’ idea to let rural interests help themselves to hundreds of millions of state taxpayer dollars, mostly paid by Iowa’s city dwellers who amount to two-thirds of the state’s population, for rural broadband even though rural broadband will thus join anti-abortion and unlimited gun rights as Reynolds’ calling card to her rural base for her reelection next year.

Continue Reading...

Iowa redistricting predictions, part 3: Legislative overview

Evan Burger speculates on how statutory requirements for drawing new Iowa House and Senate districts could impact partisan control of the legislature during the 2020s. -promoted by Laura Belin

Last month, I wrote about the rules governing Iowa’s Congressional redistricting process, and made some predictions. For this post, I’ll do the same for the legislative side of redistricting – but first, a quick mention of two related developments since my last piece. 

Continue Reading...
View More...