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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta knows in which state he works.
While Johnson County has the highest percentage of COVID-19 vaccinations in Iowa (My Linn County ranks near the top. Yay, us!), the state itself is like much of the nation. Under-vaccinated.
Like his fellow administrators, Barta can be a pretty good tap-dancer on various issues. On this one, though, he was direct. On Tuesday, he said this:
“COVID is still critical. It’s still top of the mind of everything that we do every day as we're working through this. The uncertainty that we have this year is mostly surrounding the variant. But it's still so much better than it was a year ago because we do have a vaccine and our medical staff does have much better understanding of how to treat somebody if they contract the disease.
“So at the end of the day, my approach to this, and this is Gary's approach — it's generally supported by the university's approach — mandated or not, get vaccinated, because medically vaccination is how we're going to beat this thing.
“It's how we're going to — it's years ago how we beat polio, mumps, measles. I'm not saying I'm medically trained to say this is different or the same. But I've spoken to medical professionals and vaccination is the best way. Not because it's mandated, but because medically it's the best way to overcome this. …
“It's not going to be zero. We're not going to have zero infections on our campus, in our state or across the country. But we can mitigate it to some degree.”
Will that influence a single person who hasn’t already come to that conclusion? I don’t know. It’s still the right thing to do, and as Da Mayor said so eloquently in “Do the Right Thing,” “Always do the right thing.”
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