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LETTER: Spreading lies as bad as spreading virus

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In 2014, I ran against Rep. Steve Green for Minnesota House 2B. At a radio debate in Fosston that fall, I sat next to him and listened to him say that Ebola-infected terrorists were crossing our southern borders to kill U.S. servicemen and their families. It was one of the craziest things I think I have ever heard, but it was a story that had been making the rounds in right-wing media for a few weeks and it seemed to get people excited and concerned.

It was astonishing that, a few days ago, Green published a letter to the editor that appears on his official state page taking Gov. Tim Walz to task for “reactionary decisions” for extending his stay-at-home order to keep people safe. Republicans, at least according to the letter, aren’t telling folks to abandon social distancing or hand washing, but they are beginning to grumble that the governor and the Democrats are hamstringing the economy.

So, six years ago, be terrified! Now, when faced with a real pandemic and real loss of life, not so much. I say bullshit to that. I think the governor has been doing a good job. He has been informative and deliberative and has continually asked for Republican ideas and help. He has done as good as could be expected, given the slow and incompetent response of the president.

Ebola-infected terrorists are not crossing our borders. A pandemic is here and it's going to build and peak by May. We cannot be caught flat-footed. We have to be diligent in facing that threat. We have to have a plan. People will become sick in greater numbers as we go forward and we have to take care of our doctors, nurses, police, EMTs, farmers, grocery checkers, VA workers, elder care workers. We have to make sure the helpers have all the help they need.

And we need to begin with tests. We need to get the economy going and do it in a safe, tested, efficient manner where we are going to have to move people into and out of the workplace to keep all workers safe.

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Steve Green, be a leader for rural Minnesota. Spreading lies is as bad as spreading this virus.

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