Iowa reported another grim milestone in COVID-19 deaths on Feb. 23, 2022. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has been chosen to deliver the Republican response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address — in part for her handling of the coronavirus pandemic — at the same time the state reports exceeding 9,000 COVID-19 deaths.

As of Feb. 23, 2022, Iowa reported 9,085 COVID-19 deaths, up 137 confirmed deaths from just one week ago.

Reynolds stated earlier this month that COVID-19 could be “managed similarly” to the flu and other infectious diseases as the state shut down its data reporting websites and announced it will no longer track nursing home outbreaks.

Related: More than one-quarter of Iowa nursing homes report outbreaks

As of its final report Feb. 15, Iowa had 106 long-term care facility outbreaks, compared to last summer, when outbreaks numbered in the single digits.

In its most recent influenza report, Iowa reported no flu-related nursing home outbreaks as of the week ending Feb. 12, and 18 flu-related deaths since Oct. 3.

“She fought COVID without forgetting common sense and protected Iowans’ health and their rights at the same time,” an announcement about Reynolds’ selection to give the Republican address stated. It did not specify how Reynolds fought the pandemic, as she has opposed vaccine and mask mandates, even as cases exponentially increased.

Iowa has recorded 838, 723 positive COVID-19 tests since the beginning of the pandemic, with 4,814 in the last seven days alone.

Biden will deliver the State of the Union address on Tuesday, March 1.

More: Iowa “discovers” thousands of unreported positive COVID-19 tests