Emails leaked from the Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner shows she encouraged her staff to use “creative thinking” in response to decreasing COVID numbers to justify reintroducing statewide shutdowns.
The mails from Commissioner Jan Malcolm sent in October of 2020 were a response to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s chief of staff Chris Schmitter expressing disappointment of the falling COVID cases.
LEAKED! Email from last fall shows Walz chief of staff scheming with Malcolm to find ways to better sell COVID fear because numbers are too small.
— MN Up North Lake Guy (@MNUpNorthLakeG1) November 11, 2021
The initial email appears to show Schmitter responding to the latest COVID data, saying the numbers were “less useful” than he had expected them to be.
“This is helpful, though less useful than I expected,” he wrote, adding that the if the Minnesota MDH could produce a data set that shows “75% case growth,” the government “could target” social gatherings, weddings and funerals “more aggressively.”
Malcolm replied in the email that the coronavirus numbers didn’t justify the government’s proposed “dial backs” in the process of reopening Minnesota after numerous COVID shutdowns, and encouraged her staff to use “creative thinking” to get around it.
These emails came just weeks before Walz’s administration imposed a massive statewide lockdown, including ordering all bars, restaurants, fitness clubs and gyms to shut down.
On Nov. 10, 2020, Walz issued Emergency Executive Order 20-96, titled “Restricting Social Gatherings, Celebrations, and the Hours and Operations of Bars, Restaurants, and Venues to Prevent Further Spread of COVID-19.”
“Due to careful contact tracing and continuous research, we now have a far greater understanding of the ways that the pandemic spreads. Greater knowledge allows us to be more surgical in our approach to mitigation, especially when faced with the current surges. The present data points to social gatherings (including friends and family gatherings at private homes), celebrations, and bars and restaurants as the most significant source of COVID-19 spread in the state.”
Dr. Scott Jensen, running as the anti-lockdown Republican challenger against Walz in 2022, called out Walz last week over the leaked corrupt email exchange.
“Governor Walz has been less than transparent about his emails,” Jensen said in a video posted on Twitter. “The fact of the matter is, recent email exchanges dating back to October 2020 reveal that his chief of staff told the Department of Health that the department’s numbers and how COVID was spreading were ‘less useful’ than what he expected.”
Governor Walz, I have a question for you regarding transparency? When you’re not transparent, do you or your staff use accusations and deceptions to hide your lack of candor and truthfulness? pic.twitter.com/1EVgTyB8a9
— Scott Jensen (@drscottjensen) November 12, 2021
Powerline Blog summarized the corrupt email leak as follows:
These leaked emails provide a small window into a phenomenon that we have seen over the last year and a half at the federal level and in many states: politicians who want to exert ever-greater control over our lives have consistently misrepresented and exaggerated data relating to covid in order to instill fear and to justify harsh measures that have damaged the quality of life of many millions of Americans. There is little or no evidence that extreme covid shutdowns did any material good, but we know they did a great deal of harm. Someday, perhaps there will be an accounting for the endemic dishonesty that lay behind them.