TWIN CITIES, MN — Gov. Tim Walz and other Minnesota Democrats issued blistering criticisms after a report that Republicans in the state Senate kept quiet about their members testing positive for COVID-19.
According to the Star Tribune, Republican senators were given a memo Tuesday that said "a number of" their own members and staff "have been diagnosed with COVID-19." The memo did not say who among the Senate GOP has contracted the virus.
Democrats were kept in the dark about the COVID cases, according to the newspaper, even though the state Senate held a special session Thursday.
"When COVID-19 spreads from one person to another, it does not care who you are or where you are from," Walz said in a statement Saturday.
"The virus doesn’t operate along party lines, and so neither can we. Each of us has a personal responsibility to take steps to slow the spread. And if we know of a positive case, we have a moral obligation to share that information with others so that they can protect themselves and their families."
Republican and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka responded to Walz's criticisms on Twitter, saying that "no one was put at risk."
No DFL member was at our caucus meeting, and we followed MDH and CDC recommendations for social distancing, masks, and limiting time together during session so no one was put at risk. It’s time to stop blaming us and politicizing this, and work together to keep Minnesotans safe.
— Paul Gazelka (@paulgazelka) November 14, 2020
Majority leaders in the Minnesota Senate did not immediately respond to Patch's request for comment.
Patch will update this story as more information is made available.