Iowa Republican governor rejects Biden's $100 vaccine incentives

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Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds rejected President Biden’s request that state and local governments use federal funds to encourage people to get the coronavirus vaccine. 

Reynolds spokesman Pat Garrett said on Friday that Reynolds has no plans to spend $100 in federal funds for each person who receives the vaccine, the Associated Press reported. 

Iowa Department of Public Health Sarah Ekstrand also said in an email that Iowa’s strategy of “education and communications efforts” regarding the vaccine are unchanged. 

Garrett did not immediately return Fox News’s request for comment on the matter. 

The move comes after the Biden administration urged state and local governments on Thursday to use coronavirus relief funds to pay each newly-vaccinated person $100 “as an extra incentive” to increase the population of vaccinated Americans. 

“I know that paying people to get vaccinated might sound unfair to folks that have gotten vaccinated already but here’s the deal: if incentives help us beat this virus, I believe we should use them,” Biden said. “We all benefit if we can get more people vaccinated.”

Some states, such as New Mexico, Ohio, and Colorado, have already offered a $100 incentive to residents, while Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said he would comply with Biden’s request. 

Also this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its mask guidance for vaccinated people over the threat of the delta variant of the virus, and is now urging people in some areas of the country with “high” or “substantial” COVID-19 transmission to mask up indoors. 

Some Democratic leaders have also reimposed mask mandates in response to the update, including in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. 

Some Republican leaders, however, have pushed back on reimposing such mandates, with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signing an executive order Thursday banning mask and vaccine mandates. 

“To further ensure that no governmental entity can mandate masks, the following requirement shall continue to apply: No governmental entity, including a county, city, school district, and public health authority, and no governmental official may require any person to wear a face-covering or to mandate that other person wear a covering,” the executive order read.

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