Iowa lawmakers open session with limited virus rules

The Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines in 2019. (Randy Dircks/KCRG)
The Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines in 2019. (Randy Dircks/KCRG)(Randy Dircks/KCRG | KCRG)
Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 3:51 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers have begun their legislative session with no mask requirements, and many members are opting not to wear face coverings even as rates of coronavirus infections rise in the Des Moines area and much of the state.

Republicans, who hold majorities in both the House and Senate, chose not to mandate masks or even require that members disclose if they have been infected by the virus. And during opening ceremonies Monday, most Republicans didn’t wear masks while all Democrats were protected by a mask or face shield.

More than 200 unmasked people opposing mask mandates protested before lawmakers began the session. They chanted “freedom” and many held signs that said “coercion is not consent,” and “mandates belong in socialist countries.”

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