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Democrats blast Minnesota GOP legislators for alerting only Republicans to virus cases


Minnesota Senate Democrats blasted the state’s GOP legislators for allegedly failing to inform opposing party members of COVID-19 infections among some Republican staff.

One day after reports emerged that state Sen. Dave Senjem (R) tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 5, Republican senators and staffers were informed in a Tuesday memo that some party members tested positive for the virus, the Star Tribune reported.

Members of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) were reportedly not informed about the outbreak among some GOP legislators.

“It is outrageous and completely unacceptable that Senate DFLers were not notified of the recent COVID-19 outbreak among Senate Republicans prior to Thursday’s floor session,” Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent (DFL) said in a statement.

Kent called the “lack of transparency” a “disregard for the health and safety of others” to other staff and members of Congress.

Senate Republican Chief of Staff Craig Sondag sent a memo to Republicans and staffers instructing them to work from home, including on Thursday’s slated special session.

Still, the memo reportedly was not initially given to Democrats across the aisle. The Hill contacted Sondag for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Senate spokeswoman Rachel Aplikowski confirmed the authenticity of the memo to Minnesota Public Radio (MPR).

Additionally, MPR reported another GOP Sen. Paul T. Anderson tested positive for COVID-19.

Some DFL state legislators have tested positive, including Sen. Dan Sparks, Rep. Fue Lee, and Rena Moran.

Aplikowski said the special session on Thursday saw members exercising proper adherence to mask and social distancing protocols, adding that many members from both caucuses used remote voting options.





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