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Letter: Where do Senjem and Nelson stand?

Letter to the Editor graphic

Three milestones this week tell a story.

On Monday, leaders at nine of Minnesota’s hospitals and health care systems took out a full-page ad in the Star Tribune with a cry for help: resources and quality of care are dangerously strained due to the current surge of COVID-19.

Dr. Aleta Borrud mug
Dr. Aleta Borrud

On Tuesday, 38 state House Republicans, including local Representatives Nels Pierson and Duane Quam, signed a letter urging Mayo Clinic to drop its vaccine mandate for employees.

On Wednesday, Minnesota’s death toll from COVID-19 exceeded 10,000 lives.

Republican politicians claim to fight for public safety. Yet COVID-19 is one of the gravest public safety crises we’ve experienced, and they consistently undermine efforts to limit transmission, spread misinformation about our most effective interventions, and cast doubt on proven safety recommendations by our community’s — and our nation’s — most respected health care institution.

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These politicians claim to fight for personal freedoms. My immunocompromised brother-in-law has been captive in his home for nearly two years, lest he risk a life-threatening infection. Our elders, like the patients I cared for at Mayo for nineteen years, remain isolated. New parents must weigh the risk of exposure to their infants too young for vaccination. Is that freedom?

Reps. Pierson and Quam stated their position. What about the senators representing our district, Carla Nelson and David Senjem? Will they stand by the health care workers who daily put their health and that of their families on the line to care for us and disavow the dangerous misinformation disseminated by their peers?

Aleta Borrud, Rochester

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