Powerful Iowa companies got state testing help, records show

Iowa News

FILE – In this May 1, 2020, file photo, medical workers test a local resident at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Waterloo, Iowa. Newly released records show the State of Iowa deployed “strike teams” to conduct rapid on-site coronavirus testing at 17 businesses in 2020, including some of the state’s most powerful pork and beef companies. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Newly released records show the State of Iowa deployed “strike teams” to conduct rapid on-site coronavirus testing at 17 businesses in 2020, including some of the state’s most powerful pork and beef companies.

At least four of the companies that received help from strike teams are owned by major donors to the campaign of Gov. Kim Reynolds, including Iowa Select Farms, Lynch Livestock, Prestage Farms and GMT Corp.

A spokesman for the governor says that political support was never a factor in the state’s deployment of testing resources, and that the governor is proud of the way she helped the private sector weather the pandemic.

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