Walz 'deeply disappointed' by lack of COVID-19 precautions at crowded campaign events

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. 

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