Minnesota’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response: Progressives vs. Conservatives
Since the coronavirus crisis began, Governor Tim Walz and progressives in the Minnesota Legislature have had a better pandemic response.
From the start, progressives listened to the scientists and experts. Meanwhile, conservatives criticized public health measures and wanted to put more people in harm’s way.
As we work to rebuild from the pandemic,
progressives are focused on investing in our recovery. But conservatives want to slash programs. Conservative cuts would hurt Minnesotans at a time when they need support the most. And it would hurt our ability to rebuild from the pandemic.
Scroll down to see more and decide for yourself who has had the better COVID-19 pandemic response.
Four days after Minnesota
had its first confirmed case of COVID-19, Governor Tim Walz signed the first bill related to the pandemic. The bill provided over $20 million to Minnesota’s Department of Health to respond to the pandemic.
Minnesota conservatives proposed giving tax breaks to the wealthiest Minnesotans. Then, they complained that coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic was “eating the news cycle, probably more than it should.”
The Walz administration
created a program to help struggling Minnesotans with their rent and mortgage payments during the pandemic.
Even after more than 1,000 Minnesotans had died from COVID-19, conservatives like Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka downplayed the crisis and called for an end to public health protections.
In November 2020,
Governor Walz announced the opening of more COVID-19 testing sites, offering testing to anyone, whether they had symptoms or not. And the health department expanded the test at home program to all Minnesotans.
Following the November 2020 elections, Minnesota Republicans held a large in-person party to celebrate their election results. There were hundreds of attendees, few wore masks, and the party lasted for hours. After that, a COVID-19 outbreak started to spread among Republican legislators. Then, one of the election night party attendees, Senator Jerry Relph, died from complications related to the coronavirus.
Governor Walz proposed
a budget that focuses on supporting Minnesota families and small businesses as we work to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. In it, he asks large, profitable corporations and the wealthiest Minnesotans to pay their fair share so our students, families, and small businesses have a fair shot.
Senate Republicans proposed slashing programs by five percent across the board. Those cuts would hurt Minnesotans at a time when they need support the most. And it would hurt our ability to rebuild from the pandemic.
Governor Walz announced
that Minnesota is expanding vaccine access after reaching the goal of vaccinating 70% of Minnesotans 65 years and older ahead of schedule. Thanks to Governor Walz’s leadership, Minnesota is second in the nation for the percentage of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered.
Instead of working together to get through the COVID crisis, Minnesota conservatives keep fighting Governor Walz every step of the way and playing politics with the pandemic and worker safety.