This evening, Governor Tim Walz delivered his second State of the State address.
Speaking to the state via YouTube, the governor discussed the COVID-19 pandemic in broad strokes. Walz began his speech acknowledging that many Minnesotans are out of work, multiple businesses are closed, classrooms are vacant, and houses of worship are empty.
“We’re bracing for a storm of epic proportions. This will be like a winter we have never seen before. There’s no stopping the storm, but we are preparing for it,” said the governor.
Walz highlighted the state’s efforts to build out hospital capacity so that medical professionals and patients have the testing, ventilators, and ICU beds that are needed.
Additionally, the governor noted the ongoing challenge to acquire more personal protective equipment for doctors, nurses, first responders, and other medical professionals as they work on the front line caring for patients.
Walz specifically noted the work of three major Minnesota institutions:
- Mayo Clinic – leading a national trial to use the blood of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 for those who have fallen ill to the virus.
- Medtronic – publicly sharing design specifications for their ventilator.
- 3M – producing face masks for the nation’s healthcare workers.
Walz emphasized that state efforts to have Minnesotans stay at home isn’t paralysis, it is action that can reduce the spread of transmission by up to 80%. “You are slowing the spread of the disease. You are giving hospitals time to prepare and saving lives,” said the governor.
Acknowledging the restrictive-nature of his executive orders, Walz cited his 24 years in the military pledging to uphold the Constitution. “In a democracy, these restrictions cannot be enacted lightly.”
Additionally, Walz publicly thanked medical professionals, grocers, farmers, janitors, educators, and childcare providers for their work during this pandemic and shared stories of kindness from Minnesotans across the state.
While conceding there will be “long hours of darkness ahead of us” and “a cold long winter” for the state, the governor offered light at the end of the tunnel saying, “A new day will come. The sun will rise. We will dig out, Minnesota.”
Walz concluded his address saying, “The state of our state is strong. The state of our state is resilient. The state of our state is united.”