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DES MOINES, Iowa, February 12, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Iowa’s Republican Governor Kim Reynolds has lifted the state’s mandate on masks, physical distancing and size limits on gatherings, urging people to make their own decisions about wearing masks and attending gatherings, and to take “reasonable” measures to maintain public health

In a new proclamation signed February 5, and effective February 7, Reynolds allowed people the freedom to take health precautions if they wish to, but without the previous mandates, including enforced physical distancing and mask wearing.

Instead, Reynolds wrote merely to “strongly encourage all vulnerable Iowans, including those with pre-existing medical conditions and those older than 65,” to limit their activities and participation in large gatherings.

The previous proclamation, issued in November, prohibited gatherings of more than 25 people indoors or 100 outdoors, unless all attendees older than two wore a mask, and additionally decreed that a distance of six feet be maintained between individuals or groups in businesses, restaurants, and gyms, as well as other indoor settings.

Reynolds’s latest document does away with such mandates, simply encouraging organizers of gatherings to take “reasonable measures” to safeguard public health.

In place of the previous orders around businesses, Reynolds now writes: “I strongly encourage that all businesses or other employers remaining open with in-person operations, take reasonable measures under the circumstances of each establishment to ensure the health of employees, patrons and members of the public, including social distancing practices, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health.”

The governor did not make adherence to “reasonable measures” a requisite for opening businesses. “This section shall not be a basis for closing or taking other enforcement action against a business or other employer absent an additional specific order or directive of the Iowa Department of Public Health,” the proclamation continued.

Her removal of the various restrictions comes shortly after Reynolds signed into law a bill which allowed parents to send their children back to school full time, after schools had been operating a mixture of online and in-person sessions due to COVID restrictions.

Reynolds has faced much backlash from left-wing media in the face of lifting the restrictions. Iowa’s Public Health Association has also attacked the governor, calling her actions “actively detrimental to our pursuit to end the pandemic.”

In a recent video clip shared online, she defended her decision, saying, “Iowans know how to be safe and responsible; our businesses know how to responsibly take care of their customers, and because we remained open and had our economy open, we’re really coming out of COVID in a very strong position.”

In comments made to the Des Moines Register, Iowa Restaurant Association chief Jessica Dunker praised the governor’s actions. The easing of restrictions “may well give us the lift we need to be able to see this thing to the other side,” Dunker said. “Quite frankly, it allows us to go back to doing business at a really critical time.”

Democrat politicians in the state have chosen to ignore Reynolds’s proclamation. They continue to enforce COVID-related measures, such as mask wearing and physical distancing.

Iowa City Democrat Mayor Bruce Teague said that the city’s mask order was still “not impacted” by Reynolds’s latest proclamation, and that “[r]esidents should continue to wear masks in all public spaces within Iowa City in accordance with the City’s order.” Masks are mandated until May 31 in the city.

Des Moines, Iowa’s capital, followed suit, with Democrat Mayor Frank Cownie stating that masks would continue to be required in line with the city’s current restrictions. He called the governor’s decision “confusing,” claiming that it couldn’t “be rationalized with the number of positive cases we continue to see across the state and here in Polk County.”

North Liberty and Coralville have also decided to continue to require masks.

In contrast to the Democrat politician’s reliance upon masks, numerous physicians have warned that masks do not have an effect in preventing the spread of COVID-19. America’s Frontline Doctors (AFLD) have called for the use of reason in understanding the effect which masks have in preventing a virus which is “1/1000 the size of a hair.”

Dr. Simone Gold of AFLD declared that masks were “completely irrelevant to blocking” COVID-19. She warned that masks had become a political talisman, saying that if people researched themselves, they would “discover that prior to masks becoming political in March 2020, there was never even an attempt at a pretense that masks, let alone bandanas, stop a virus. It’s a complete fabrication. A virus is 1/1000 the size of a hair.”

In November, a Danish peer reviewed study found that there was no “statistically significant” difference in cases of the virus, between those who wore masks, and those who did not.

Recently, videos have been released clearly demonstrating the manner in which vapor can easily pass through the layers of a mask. Masks lead to a “false sense of security,” said Chad Roy in the video.