ByIowaWatch database of U.S. HHS data compiled by Lyle Muller |
This story is part of a nationwide collaboration of Institute for Nonprofit News members examining the affect COVID-19 is having on rural health care. IowaWatch reporting in this project was made possible by support from the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.
Relief payments distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Health Resources and Services Administration have gone to the following Iowa hospitals. The funds come via two 2020 laws — the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act — during the COVID-19 pandemic. These data are of May 13, 2020, and can change because of updates. Healthcare providers have 45 days from the day they receive each of the fund distributions to attest to receiving payment and agree to terms and conditions, Susan Horras, vice president for finance policy at the Iowa Hospital Association, wrote in an email to IowaWatch.
Iowa hospitals received $190.3 million in CARES Act relief fund payments in April and were expecting as much as $360 million more in a second round of federal relief aid, interviews and documents shared with IowaWatch show. Part of a special national collaboration, “Slammed: Rural Health Care and COVID-19”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared an Iowa hand sanitizer company of making misleading claims about its product’s ability to “mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19.” Prefense LLC, of Muscatine, faced an April 23 FDA complaint that made the company the nation’s first manufacturer to get an FDA warning letter claiming the firm marketed a hand sanitizer with unproven COVID-19-related claims.
An Iowa-based hand sanitizer manufacturer the Food and Drug Administration cited in April for saying its products could “mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19” says the federal agency is wrong. An attorney for Prefense LLC, of Muscatine, also said the company told the FDA that before the agency announced its April 23 complaint against the firm on April 27, and that the FDA hasn’t acknowledged that response.
Editorial cartoonists – the outstanding ones, like the Des Moines Register’s Frank Miller and Brian Duffy – have a marvelous ability to express a point of view with only a few words and a skillfully drawn image. When I was the Register’s opinion editor, Miller’s most famous cartoon hung next to my desk. It was drawn in 1962 amid fears of nuclear war. It depicts the remnants of the bombed-out world, with one man yelling across the chasm to another man, “I said, we sure settled that dispute, didn’t we?”
Another exceptional cartoon caught my eye last week. It shows a military veteran standing next to his shopping cart at a checkout counter.
The coronavirus crisis has exposed the financial vulnerabilities of countless Iowa businesses. Whether we like it or not, it will be touch-and-go to see how many come through this intact, how many will end up as shadows of their former selves, and how many will disappear. It’s implausible that businesses will pick right up where they left off two months ago and proceed as if this were just an extended power outage. That’s why our state needs to have its leaders – Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, liberals, middle-of-the-roaders, big-city folks, small-town and rural residents – sit down for in-depth, comprehensive discussions about the way state government uses its economic assistance to help businesses. Randy Evans
Randy Evans is the executive director of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council.
Statistics obtained by The Fuller Project from several states show that the share of people who filed new unemployment claims who were women during the last two weeks of March surged from an estimated 13 to 35 percentage points above the norm for those states. Elizabeth Holt lost her waitressing job at an Applebee’s in San Antonio, Texas on March 23, a few days after the mayor made all restaurants carry-out and delivery only in order to curb the spread of coronavirus. Holt was the main provider for her blended family of eight. Her husband, a part-time dishwasher at the same restaurant, lost his job the same day. “I have always, even as a server, paid all our bills on time, and was able to spoil our kids and give them what they needed,” Holt said.
Nearly three decades ago, the federal government issued a somber warning. America’s scrap tires had to go somewhere without gobbling up landfill space. Billions of cast-off tires already had accumulated in ugly stockpiles and millions more were “scattered in ravines, deserts, woods, and empty lots,” sparking toxic fires that burned for months, the Environmental Protection Agency declared in a 1991 report. “As costs or difficulties of legal disposal increase, illegal dumping may increase,” the agency said. But there was hope of a solution, and the EPA was all in.
Public health researchers disagree on the impact fine silica dust has on the long-term health of residents living near silica sand mining communities like the tiny Mississippi River town of Clayton, which is in the Iowa county by the same name, and in southwest Wisconsin.
In those early years, my attitude toward money was pretty simple, mostly falling along the lines of “more is better.” However, in the years since that sweaty introduction to free enterprise, I have come to realize that money is not the most important thing around.