In a recent article published by the Post Bulletin, Paul Gazelka claims that he is the “public safety candidate.” This is shameless double talk from the senator. Despite refusing to abide by public health measures during the pandemic, Gazelka is crying out for “public safety reform.” How can Gazelka, whose track record with COVID-19 reflects nothing but errors and false claims, truly champion the wellbeing of Minnesotans?

From the first day of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gazelka challenged all of Governor Walz’s COVID-19 related precautions. He prioritized playing politics, spread misinformation, and cast unhealthy doubt on proven public health recommendations. He went so far as to host a maskless dinner for over a hundred Republican lawmakers. The event caused an outbreak that likely resulted in the unfortunate passing of Senator Jerry Relph due to COVID complications. Senate Republicans took no accountability for their actions and blatantly refused to inform their DFL colleagues or the venue about the virus spreading between legislators.

Four months into the pandemic, Gazelka declared that “the emergency part of this pandemic is over” in a press conference and encouraged the state to stop taking it seriously. The U.S. has lost hundreds of thousands of people since that statement, proving that his claims were dangerously inaccurate. How can Paul Gazelka say he is the “public safety” candidate when he has put the public in harm’s way for months? This is the sort of blatant double talk that Minnesotans have had enough of.

Senator Matt Klein, MD, Mendota Heights

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