Democrats in the Minnesota Senate are fuming after their Republican colleagues apparently neglected to warn them about a COVID-19 outbreak — which so far has infected at least two GOP senators.
On Friday, Sen. Scott Dibble (D-Minneapolis) tweeted the following in response to a report that Senate Republicans disclosed the outbreak only to their own members and staff:
DFL Sen. Susan Kent also responded to the story, saying that, to her knowledge, "no DFL members or staff or non-partisan staff were informed" about the situation:
Meanwhile, MN House Rep. Lauri Halverson (D-Eagan) called out GOP Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka over the controversy, telling him to "fight the virus, not your colleagues":
This comes after MPR reporter Brian Bakst shared a Tuesday memo from the Republican Senate caucus, which announced that "a number of (GOP) members and staff" had been diagnosed with COVID-19. The memo, sent via email, also instructed staffers to work from home and refrain from coming into the office, "even for Thursday's special session":
Bakst also reported that Sen. Paul T. Anderson (R-Plymouth) was one of the two GOP senators who had been diagnosed; the other was Sen. David Senjem of Rochester, whose diagnosis was reported Friday.
Gov. Tim Walz has since issued a public statement saying the decision put other staff and senators at risk.