(FOX 9) - Minnesota Governor Tim Walz joined the health department's phone conference Monday, commenting on recent large gatherings and campaign rallies in the state as officials report increasing cases of COVID-19.
Monday, health officials reported 1,578 new cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths. The state has now seen 135,372 cases and 2,353 deaths since the onset of the pandemic.
Vice President Mike Pence held a rally Monday in Hibbing, Minnesota, speaking to a crowd of more than 600 people. The state guidelines currently limit events to 250 people. Monday's rally, along with many other campaign events across the country in recent weeks, included a large number of unmasked guests and a lack of social distancing.
Gov. Walz called events like these "incredibly unhelpful" in the fight against COVID-19.
"I’m pleading with all campaigns, if you feel that solid about your candidate, go vote for them. If you need to hear them speak, just Google it and watch a speech on your phone," he added.
The governor also said that while attendees are often asked to sign a waiver saying they will not take legal action against the campaign if they contract COVID-19, "their neighbors don't sign waivers."
"We're still of the belief that if people buckle down, do these things, there's good data to show we can slow the spread," he said.