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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Franson (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Mary Franson

Friday, September 24, 2021

Dear Friends,

I hope everyone had a great first week of fall! It looks like it’s going to be a perfect autumn weekend, so make sure to get out and enjoy some of the great events happening in our community. Take the family to the Pumpkin Patch in Wadena tomorrow or check out Thousand Lakes Brewing Co. Oktoberfest tonight! There are a variety of live music events happening this weekend as well, so make sure to learn more at Explore Alexandria’s website.

Getting Behind the Numbers

I want to remind you how important it is to look beyond the headlines and instead look at the COVID-19 data.

Take for example COVID deaths. We know that older populations are at greatest risk from dying from COVID-19, and yet we always hear news stories about the deaths among young people. Phil Kerpen, President of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity (which was founded by Stephen Moore, Arthur Laffer, and Steve Forbes,) dug into the data on Twitter this week. He found that 2.5% of all COVID deaths had a cause of death not connected to COVID per the CDC’s analysis of 2020 deaths. That figure was much higher for younger age groups: 35.2% for those under the age of 18, and 10.2% for those between 18 to 29.

I encourage everyone to do their own homework and dig into the data about COVID-19.

Meanwhile in Norway...

Norway's assistant director of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Geir Bukholm, recently said that coronavirus can now be classified as an illness like the flu or the common cold. Bukholm noted that the world is entering a new phase where COVID will be like other respiratory diseases that have seasonal variation. “And although the infection is still circulating, hospital numbers remain low. Thus, the coronavirus will not lead to a heavy burden on the health service. For those vaccinated who may become infected and develop symptoms, the vast majority will have mild cold-like symptoms,” said Bukholm.

I am hopeful that we can join Norway soon in classifying COVID-19 as a seasonal, respiratory disease. 

Main Street COVID Relief Grants

Applications are now open for the Main Street COVID Relief Grants Program. These grants were approved by the legislature and will help businesses who continue to struggle from the effects of COVID shutdowns. Applicants who did not receive assistance from previous relief programs, like the Small Businesses Emergency Loan program or the Movie Theater and Convention Center Relief Grant program, will be prioritized.

The application period ends September 29 so I encourage all business owners to visit DEED’s website to learn more and apply NOW!