A Republican Party of Minnesota event planned for Monday has been canceled due to "some members ... being in self-quarantine," according to a Facebook post.
The event was a party update featuring chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan, but it has since been canceled. A post from the Senate District 54 Republicans said, "We were excited for this party update, but we understand the importance of safety."
BMTN has reached out to the Republican Party of Minnesota for comment.
The canceled event comes about a week after the executive director of the state party quit unexpectedly (the Minnesota GOP hasn't yet commented on this). Days later, on Wednesday, Sept. 30, several prominent members of the party were possibly exposed to COVID-19 after meeting with President Donald Trump on his visit to Minnesota (the president tested positive for COVID-19 the following day and has since been hospitalized).
Among the Republicans who met with the president while he was here:
- U.S. Reps. Tom Emmer, Jim Hagedorn and Pete Stauber (who all then flew on Delta after being exposed, defying Delta's policy, and, according to WCCO, has prompted some people from the flight to self-quarantine)
- House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt
- Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka
- U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis
Carnahan did not meet with Trump on his visit, she said last week, though she is married to 1st District Rep. Hagedorn.
Although some of the members who met with Trump have tested negative, the Minnesota Department of Health said Friday that anyone who had contact with President Trump (or anyone who has COVID-19 for that matter) should quarantine for 14 days, regardless of if they have tested negative.
That's because a COVID test is a point in time indicator, so if a person is tested too soon, their result may be negative even though they could be infected with the virus.
For those who attended Trump's events last Wednesday, MDH recommends that people get tested 5-7 days later. If they test negative, get tested again around the 12-day mark. For people who are showing symptoms, they should get tested right away.
On Monday, Gazelka announced he has tested negative for COVID-19, but says he will limit his activities and will be retested later this week. Daudt also said he has tested negative, but has not said if he will get re-tested.
The possible exposure to COVID-19 among Minnesota Republicans comes as several other members of the national party are reporting positive coronavirus tests, and come amid the Republican Party holding more in-person events compared to Democrats.
While the Minnesota GOP has mocked the Minnesota DFL and candidate Joe Biden for hiding out from the virus, the Minnesota DFL has slammed the Minnesota GOP and Carnahan for not wearing masks and holding indoor events or events where people can't social distance.
The state DFL's criticism of Carnahan hasn't stopped there, though. Last week, the DFL disclosed emails it obtained via a public records request that show a staffer in Hagedorn's office emailed a National Park Service official to request free entrance and private tour for Carnahan and several parks in Arizona, the Star Tribune reports.