Representative Cindy Axne is on the defensive after sharing false information in an interview with a Des Moines TV station. Axne, Iowa’s lone Democrat in Congress, said in the interview that hospitals in Iowa were full. Therefore, if an individual had a heart attack or were in an accident, those hospitals would have to turn you away.
“We have hospitals right here in Des Moines that said they have no more beds left,…you have a heart attack, guess what? You’re out of luck. Your child gets in a car accident…unfortunately, they’re out of luck. You wanna know why? Because were not having enough people vaccinated here in Iowa.” said Axne in a interview at the State Fair grounds that aired Sunday moneing on WHO13 news.
The anchor tried to let Axne clarify her statements during the interview, but instead, she doubled down on her claim that hospitals were full.
“We have some hospitals that are at that point [have hit capacity], yes,” stated the congresswoman.
The interview became a liability for Axne when the news station followed up on her claims. In a statement after the initial interview that said this:
“WHO 13 News has been unable to find any hospital in Iowa that can no longer accept patients in emergency situations, like heart attacks or children in car crashes as Axne mentioned.”
Axne’s staff later reached out to the news station to address the debunked claims the congresswoman made and attempted to retract nearly everything she had said during the interview while never acknowledging she had spread completely incorrect information.
These aren’t just “white lies” to try to encourage people to get vaccinated. Any time someone says hospitals aren’t accepting patients you’re essentially telling people “if you’re having a medical emergency, just try your luck at home.”
It’s dangerous and wrong.
— Eric (@The_OtherET) August 23, 2021
The episode left many on social media wondering if this was bigger than a clarification but rather the representative getting caught lying to politicize this covid 19 crisis and, in the process, inflamed and already tense situation. As a result, the Republican Party of Iowa is calling on Axne to come clear about her comments and admit her fault.
“Axne’s latest comments are dangerous and harmful to Iowans. She knew she was spreading misinformation to try to scare constituents about COVID,” said Republican Party of Iowa Communications Director Kollin Crompton. “In reality, Axne’s comments will keep Iowans who may be having a medical emergency, away from the hospital, instead of getting the life-saving treatment they need. Axne needs to come out and say she was wrong and stop putting a political agenda that pushes fear and misinformation ahead of Iowans’ best interests.”
Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann speculated that Axne’s comments could result in some deciding not to seek out care.
Spreading this kind of dangerous misinformation is a new low for @RepCindyAxne.
There are real consequences from this. Iowans will avoid going to the emergency room because Axne told them they are out of luck.
She must come out and say she was wrong. https://t.co/94DU6Aeum8
— Jeff Kaufmann (@kaufmannGOP) August 23, 2021
Iowa Field Report reached out to the congresswoman’s office for further comment but had not heard back.