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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kelly Morrison (DFL)

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Release: As COVID-19 Cases Increase, Physician Lawmakers Push Back Against Dangerous Rhetoric

Thursday, April 16, 2020

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, state Sen. Matt Klein, DFL-Mendota Heights, state Rep. Alice Mann, DFL-Lakeville, and state Rep. Kelly Morrison, DFL-Deephaven, discussed their firsthand experiences providing health care during a pandemic. As state legislators and physicians, Klein, Mann, and Morrison are just three of the many Minnesotans working with Gov. Tim Walz to slow the spread of COVID-19 and build capacity to meet the surge so that our economy can reopen. 

Gov. Walz has used his constitutional power to protect Minnesotans from the spread of coronavirus through stay-at-home orders and has opened a Special Enrollment Period to help Minnesotans have access to health coverage when they need it most. Unfortunately, these efforts are being undermined by misleading information being spread about the virus and the state’s response. Some have even claimed the response to this pandemic has gone overboard, that hospitals are misusing death certificates to make money and, “Sooner or later, freedom-loving Americans will rebel.”

"We have heard politicians say that health care providers are going overboard in using masks and that we are using them unnecessarily. I implore those leaders to stop speculating so recklessly about motive and trajectory. I would encourage them not to undercut the recommendations of the CDC," said Sen. Matt Klein, a physician at Hennepin Health. Klein went on to reassure Minnesotans that if proper protocol is followed, the state will reopen and recover. "We will open the economy when we have adequate testing, and when we have adequate personal protective equipment."

"The COVID-19 pandemic is laying bare some of the structural inequalities that exist in our society. The most vulnerable among us are at the greatest risk. This is a moment where we must work together to combat this virus. Unfortunately, some politicians are using this tragedy to score political points and sow division," said Rep. Kelly Morrison, a practicing OBGYN and lawmaker in the western Twin Cities metro. 

Morrison urged Trump and Republicans to end their partisan attacks on health care as COVID-19 spreads across the country. "Ironically, these same politicians have been waging a war on the Affordable Care Act for years. This pandemic is teaching us many lessons, among them, the importance of people being able to access the care they need. President Trump and his allies should drop the lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act and stop playing political games with people's lives. This moment crystallizes the cruelty of that effort."

"Please do not be fooled by people like Sen. Gazelka and Sen. Jensen, who are turning this tragedy into an opportunity for political gain. Their remarks are diminishing the sacrifices that frontline workers make every day. Many of these workers are making that sacrifice with their lives," said State Rep. Alice Mann, a physician in Lakeville. Rep. Mann went on to condemn the rhetoric used by politicians arguing for an end to the precautionary measures enforced by Governor Walz. "What these politicians are really saying is that the lives of my 87 year old patient, and my 36 year old neighbor with asthma don't matter. This is disgusting."

You can listen to the full audio of the press call here