Thank you for your coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand that some state senators oppose the Governor’s stay-at-home order.

The Minnesota Public Health Association (MPHA) is a professional association representing a broad range of professionals dedicated to the health of all people who live in Minnesota. MPHA distinguishes itself from other organizations in that we are driven by science and the best public health practices. Political parties and personalities are never an aspect of our work. Based on all science and evidence since the pandemic began, we fully support the actions of the Governor and his cabinet, including the Minnesota Commissioner of Health. We are fortunate in Minnesota that our leaders are providing phenomenal direction in an effort to save lives as evidenced by recent reductions in the growth of new cases and deaths. The Governor has demonstrated keen attention to the advice of experts and a willingness to balance their concerns with other stakeholders. The very idea that this pandemic poses little threat to rural Minnesota is ridiculous and dangerous. Relaxing the stay-at-home order would threaten lives and discussion of it could discourage rural residents from following it.

Too many leaders avoid making tough calls in an effort not to upset others or for immediate gratification. In fact, hard decisions often get more complicated when they’re deferred. We urge elected officials to reconsider their position and defer to public health experts to mitigate COVID-19 in our state.

Nancy Franke Wilson, MPHA president

Matt Flory, MPHA Immediate past president

Merry Grande, MPHA Executive director