Lost our support

Publisher's family no longer supports Governor Walz's approach to COVID virus

This has been building up for the past three weeks, and this week it is official: this newspaper family has ended our support for Governor Tim Walz and his administration's approach to the COVID virus.

In the Friday, May 8 media briefing, Walz and his officials spouted bizarre fear tactics regarding potential graduation ceremonies at high school football stadiums, mainly in rural Minnesota where graduating classes can be quite small.

Example given by a journalist today: in schools such as Chokio-Alberta and Hancock, their graduating classes have anywhere from 15 to 30 graduates. If you have just graduates and their parents and siblings, you're talking about a relatively small group whose families could physically distance in the setting of a football stadium. Both Hancock and Chokio have football fields and bleacher facilities that would make that a very easy setting to hold an outdoor graduation. In terms of a fenced football stadium, it presents an easy way to have an orderly, measured approach to letting families in and out of the facility. Not only that, they know exactly how many families are involved. There's absolutely no mystery involved. Families can pre-register and state exactly how many (parents, siblings) members would attend. School officials can use sixth-grade level math and geometry to divide up the space in the bleachers and the surrounding fence line and space everyone out. If you're talking 30 families, you could place 20 to 40 feet between every family, and their separation depends on whether or not you want everyone facing the same direction. There are countless ways you could hold an outdoor event in a controlled facility with a controlled number of families.

Walz's administration's answer to such an idea?

"We can't have that...folks may gather in the parking lot afterwards and talk to one another."

Governor Walz: you have lost our support, and you may never get it back. You are drunk on power, and you have especially turned your back on rural Minnesota in this situation. We are ashamed of you as our governor. You are abusing the powers of your office. We hope you end up in court over many of your bizarre responses and inability to allow dissenting opinions and ideas to be part of your decision-making process. We condemn you in the strongest terms allowed under the protections of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.

And on Saturday I learned...while the state can run 10,000 COVID tests per day, the St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting that only an average of around 4,000 people per day are seeking tests. Health officials are begging people to come and take COVID tests. What's happening is that people are only getting tested if their employer requires it OR if they are admitted to a hospital with COVID symptoms. Beyond that, no one wants a COVID test! No one wants to deal with the ramifications and the negative stigma of a positive COVID diagnosis.

To our government: you made your bed, now you have to sleep in it.


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