Minnesota Gov. Walz begs voters to skip campaign rallies amid coronavirus spike: ‘Google the candidate’

Minnesota Gov. Walz begs voters to skip campaign rallies amid coronavirus spike: 'Google the candidate'

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Monday pleaded with residents to not attend crowded political rallies amid a spike in COVID-19 cases a week before the 2020 presidential election.

The state recorded more than 1,500 positive COVID-19 cases on Monday and reached a record high for Minnesota of 2,290 cases on Oct. 16 as the state increases its testing capabilities. 

“I’m asking once again — in fact, pleading,” Walz said during a press call. “Just Google the candidate you want to hear speak, and then go vote. We want people to be enthusiastic about their candidates but it’s not a good decision in areas with growing positivity rates.”

The crowd cheers as Air Force One arrives with President Trump at Duluth International Airport, Sept. 30, 2020, for Trump's campaign appearance in Duluth, Minn. (AP Photo/Jack Rendulich)

The crowd cheers as Air Force One arrives with President Trump at Duluth International Airport, Sept. 30, 2020, for Trump’s campaign appearance in Duluth, Minn. (AP Photo/Jack Rendulich)

He continued: “Going to a speech in a crowded areas doesn’t constitute something that’s worth the risk. I’m deeply disappointed and I guess we’ll go back and talk about what we can do. I get no pleasure in putting some of these things in place but we’re using the best knowledge we have to make sure people are staying safe.”  

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The Trump campaign has come under fire for hosting crowded rallies in the state and not abiding by guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health.

The Department said that at least 24 COVID-19 cases have been linked to President Trump’s Sept. 18 rally in Bemidji, Vice President Mike Pence’s Sept. 24 speech in Minneapolis, and the president’s Sept. 30 rally in Duluth before he contracted the virus himself, according to Axios. Two cases were linked to Biden campaign events in the state.

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Pence held a rally in Hibbing on Monday that drew more than 600 people despite the state health department’s 250-person limit.

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Bemidji Regional Airport, Sept. 18, 2020, in Bemidji, Minn. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Bemidji Regional Airport, Sept. 18, 2020, in Bemidji, Minn. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“We’ve made our concerns known to all the political campaigns,” Walz said during the call. “We’ve asked them to adhere to the guidance. Large rallies with no masks where politicians are attending are not helpful.”

Trump 2020 deputy national press secretary Courtney Parella said in a statement to Fox News that “Americans have the right to gather under the First Amendment to hear from the President of the United States.”

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She continued: “We take strong precautions for our campaign events, requiring every attendee to have their temperature checked, be provided a mask they’re instructed to wear, and ensuring access to plenty of hand sanitizer. We also have signs at our events instructing attendees to wear their masks.”

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