Governor Tim Walz in his State of the State address last night (Sun) laid out a grim view of what’s ahead for Minnesota in the COVID-19 pandemic, but said Minnesotans are up to the challenge and the state will come out better on the other side:
“These last few weeks have been difficult, but it’s only going to get harder…. We’re going to do everything in our power to save lives, and as hard as we work, we’re not gonna be able to save everyone. It’s going to be a cold, long winter. But how do we get through cold, long winters? We get through ’em together, as one Minnesota.”
Walz lauded first responders and Minnesota’s medical industry, adding the work that individual Minnesotans and small companies are doing is also saving lives.
But he said Minnesotans are resilient, with a deep reserve of courage, optimism and grit:
“This will be like a winter we’ve never seen before. And as we’ve done for generations, once the leaves fall off the trees and the sky turns cold and grey, we prepare. There’s no stopping the storm of COVID-19 from hitting Minnesota, but we are preparing for it.”
Walz says the state is building hospital capacity, increasing the number of ventilators and ICU beds, and doing more testing. The governor says the state is also doing its best to find more personal protective equipment for medical personnel.
He said the brilliant minds and hard work of Minnesotans will help lead the world’s response to COVID-19:
“Mayo Clinic leading a national trial to use the blood from patients who’ve recovered from COVID-19 as a treatment for others who fall ill with this disease.”
The governor says 3-M is producing millions of face masks per month, Medtronic is publicly sharing its design specifications for ventilators so others can build them, and smaller companies are producing masks and hand sanitizer, plus helping any way they can.
He also said Minnesotans always step up to the job, and are now doing some of the most critical work of all by staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic:
“What you are doing isn’t paralysis. It’s action…. Staying home is the only vaccine we have right now…. You are protecting your neighbors. You are giving hospitals time to prepare to care for the many who will fall ill. You are making a difference, and you are certainly saving lives.”
Walz thanked students for their sacrifices, told parents he knows how hard this is, and urged everyone to “be kind to yourselves and be kind to each other. We’re all doing the best we can, and that’s all we can do,” the governor says.
Walz says he knows students miss seeing their teachers and classmates, and student-athletes who have prepared to win championships now can’t do that:
“But what you’re doing matters. Your sacrifice is keeping people safe…. Someday, when you have children of your own, you’ll tell ’em about this moment in history, and what you and your neighbors did to help this state. I want to say thank you for that.”
Walz had a message for parents:
“I know how hard this is. Many of you are trying to watch your children at the same time you’re trying to work from home. Many of you are out of work and you’re worried about the bills that are coming due. This is hard…. Take a deep breath. Be kind to yourselves and be kind to each other. We’re all doing the best we can, and that’s all we can do.”