3. Iowa struggles with transparency
While some foreign governments have been lauded for how they’ve communicated about the pandemic — such as Finland, which built upon a 2014 anti-disinformation initiative — politics has infiltrated nearly every level of the United States’ pandemic response.
In Iowa, this meant embracing a policy in which COVID-19 outbreaks in its meatpacking plants and other businesses would only be reported if members of the media explicitly asked about them, despite meatpacking plant infections acting as a valuable early indicator of outbreaks. Iowa’s struggles with disclosing complete information have continued into 2021, with media outlets pointing out earlier this week that its vaccine provider portal incorrectly showed that 20 of its counties have no providers at all. The Iowa Department of Public Health called this a technical error.