MN State of the State Address | Governor Tim Walz COVID-19 Update
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz MN State of the State Address 4-5-2020
Governor Walz is delivering his annual Minnesota State of the State address on Sunday, April 5 at 7 p.m. from the Governor’s Residence.
The following is the full text of the governor’s speech:
Good evening Minnesotans. Thank you for joining me on this beautiful Sunday. I’m speaking to you live from the governor’s residence where I’ve been in self quarantine. Self quarantine, self isolation, social distancing. Phrases that many of us have never used before, now roll off our tongue in daily conversations. A new vocabulary to define our new reality.
It is a hard, cold reality. One that far exceeds the reality of Minnesota’s harshest winters. From my daily briefings, many of you know the current situation. You know about COVID-19, you know that there’s a lot we don’t know about it. You know about the actions we’ve taken to combat it, and you know how these actions have disrupted your life.
Many of you are out of work. Businesses large and small are shuttered across the state. The companionship we normally lean on to get through difficult times — a hug from a grandparent, a cup of coffee with a friend, or just laughing with coworkers, those things are out of reach now. Vacant streets and deserted classrooms. Empty pews. Chairs stacked on empty restaurants. Graduations, weddings, and funerals postponed. Right at the time Minnesotans are putting away their shovels and snowblowers, opening up their windows, and emerging from their homes, we’re bracing for a storm of epic proportions.
We’re used to long winters in Minnesota. We are resilient people with a deep reserve of optimism and grit. But this will be a winter like we’ve never seen before. And as we’ve done for generations, once the leaves fall off the trees, and the sky turns cold and gray, we prepare.
There’s no stopping the storm of COVID-19, from hitting Minnesota, but we are preparing for it. We’re building our hospital capacity so that we can ensure that when our neighbors are sick and need the care that they need, they’re able to get it. We’re increasing testing to better track this disease. And we’re increasing ventilators and ICU beds for when our sickest neighbors need it.
And just as we wouldn’t send a loved-one out into the cold without the protection they need, we’re doing our best to find more Personal Protective Equipment for the selfless doctors, nurses, first responders and so many others on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.
But Minnesotans won’t just prepare for COVID-19, we will lead this fight. The brilliant mind and hard work of Minnesotans will help lead the world’s response to this crisis.
Mayo Clinic is leading a national trial to use the blood from patients who’ve recovered from COVID-19, as a treatment for others who fall ill with this disease.
Hospitals across this state from the largest systems to the very smallest are preparing in new and innovative ways for the surge in patients that will come.
3M workers are producing millions of protective face masks every month.
Medtronic is publicly sharing the design specifications for its ventilators to spark rapid manufacturing of this critical equipment, desperately needed to save lives.
From Duluth to Hallock to St. Paul, smaller companies and employees are halting production to produce masks, make hand sanitizer, and help in any way they possibly can.
And you, those of you staying home, are doing some of the most critical work at all. I know it doesn’t feel like it to you. Minnesotans are hard-working people, who when the time comes, they step into the fight. In many storms, that means plowing out your neighborhood, filling sandbags, or trudging through the snow to check on a loved-one. But now it means staying home. What you are doing isn’t paralysis. It’s action. Staying home reduces face to face contact and thus, threat of face-to-face transmission by up to 80 percent. Staying home is the only vaccine we have right now. You are slowing the spread of this disease. You are protecting your neighbors. You are giving hospitals time to prepare for the many who will fall ill. You are making a difference, and you are certainly saving lives.
As a dad and a teacher, I want to speak directly to our children for a moment. I know this is really scary. I know that you miss seeing your teachers and your classmates. And I know how very disappointing it is that many of those important end of school activities have been cancelled. And I know right now many of you out there are athletes — whether it’s little league baseball, to the Olympics, you prepared your whole life to go out and win championships on diamonds and fields across this state, and now you can’t. But what you’re doing matters. Your sacrifice is keeping people safe. You’re protecting your neighbors. Someday, when you have children of your own, you’ll tell them about this moment in history and what you and your neighbors did to help this state. I want to say thank you for that.
And parents, I know how hard this is. Many of you are trying to watch your children at the same time you’re trying to work from home. Many of you are out of work and you’re worried about the bills that are coming due. This is hard. This is unprecedented. Take a deep breath. Be kind to yourselves and be kind to each other. We’re all doing the best we can and that’s all we can do.
Minnesotans, I don’t take what we’ve asked of you lightly. I served this nation in the Army National Guard for 24 years. I raised my hand to defend the constitution and the freedoms and liberties that it stands for. In a democracy, any action to restrict these rights cannot be enacted lightly. But at the moment, they’re critical, and they’re saving lives.
My promise to you is to continue to communicate my decisions, explain when we change course, and never stop fighting alongside you, the people of Minnesota.
These last few weeks have been difficult. But it’s only going to get harder. Long hours of darkness lie ahead of us. We’re going to do everything in our power to save lives, and as hard as we work, we’re not going to be able to save everyone.
It’s going to be a cold, long winter. But how do you we get through cold, long winters? We get through them together as one Minnesota. We always shovel our neighbor’s sidewalk. We push out a stranger’s car that gets stuck. And we donate hats and mittens to folks who need it. It’s that collective spirit that empowers us to endure winter, and it’s how we’ll endure this crisis as well.
It’s already happening and you see it everywhere. The White Bear Lake peewee hockey team was on the road to New Ulm for the state tournament when it was cancelled mid-route due to COVID-19. While their season ended abruptly, that team is still a team, although virtually. The players and their parents have started a text chain to check in every night to see how everyone is doing and if anyone needs a helping hand. One evening, a player’s mom shared how she’s exhausted from her work as a nurse and she’s worried about doing her job without all the Personal Protective Equipment she needs. The next day, the hockey dads cleaned out their garages, cleaned out their supply of masks. And a big box was left on the nurse’s doorstep with a little note that said simply, this: “Your hockey family loves you.” It left her in tears. Her hockey family is helping her through this crisis.
That same spirit flows between the high-rises of downtown Minneapolis, where every night people go out on their balconies to clap, cheer, and bang on pots and pans to celebrate the health care workers when they get off a long shift.
And you saw it last week in North Branch when a state trooper pulled over a woman who was speeding. Turns out she was a doctor in town to do some work. The trooper noticed some of the masks in her bag that she’d been forced to reuse due to the current shortage. Instead of handing her a ticket, that trooper handed the stack of masks that had been given to him to protect him. He put his neighbor first.
At a state veterans’ home, the grandchildren of one of our heroes were sad that they could no longer visit grandpa, so they created chalk drawings outside his window. Not only to lift his spirits, but also to thank the wonderful staff for caring for him during this difficult time.
While we might be celebrated physically, we stand united. From Rondo to the Range, and from north Minneapolis to North Mankato, we are truly one Minnesota. And a new day will come. The sun will shine brightly, the trees will bud, and the birds will sing. Spring will arrive, and when it does, we will dig out, Minnesota.
We will do whatever it takes to support Minnesotans and businesses to get back on their feet.
Our communities will be forever changed. Our state will be forever changed. And our world will be forever changed. We will grieve all that was taken from us. But we will also celebrate all that was given to us.
Unity. Humanity. And gratitude. We will be more united as a state. We will cherish each other’s humanity. And we will have endless gratitude for the lives we lead.
These trying times have led us back to each other. We will value those we overlooked before. When times got tough, who did we lean on? It was the nurse, the grocer, the truck driver, the farmer, the janitor. We will recognize all the educators and child care providers do for our students, our communities, and our economy. This crisis shows how much Minnesotans depend on our schools. Not only to teach our children, but to feed them and provide for their physical and mental well-being. And we will certainly recognize all the public health workers. Everything they do at the local and state level to detect and respond to health threats. Not just this infectious disease outbreak, but the many other threats that impact our personal and community health.
And we’ll continue to look out for the most vulnerable among us: the poor, the sick and the hungry. Many of you out there have stepped up to protect these people during this crisis. And that dedication to those people’s dignity and livelihood, must endure long beyond this crisis. We won’t take our normal lives for granted ever again. Our modern lives move fast. And this presents and opportunity to slow down and appreciate what truly matters.
We’re gonna welcome that morning rush getting the kids out the door to school.
We’re gonna smile pretty big as we see restaurants bustling with friends sharing a meal.
And we will soon gather again in our houses of worship.
We’ll have a renewed appreciation for the calming power of a warm embrace. But we won’t just make it to spring, we’ll come out on the other side better from this winter because we are Minnesotans. We see challenges and we tackle them, no matter how daunting the challenge, no matter how dark the times, Minnesota’s always risen up by coming together.
It was our blood that saved the Union at Gettysburg, it was our iron that forged the tanks that liberated Europe. Our farmers sparked the green revolution that fed the world. And it was our imagination that transformed medicine, and it appears poised to do so once again.
Minnesota, the state of our state is strong. The state of our state is resilient. And the state of our state is united. And our hearts are filled with gratitude for each and every Minnesotan and the role they play in the fight against COVID-19.
Thank you. Stay home and stay healthy Minnesota. Goodnight.
Meanwhile, earlier on Sunday, the Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka R-East Gull Lake, posted a video on Twitter to say that Senate Republicans would do their best to rally around the governor’s plans.
— Paul Gazelka (@paulgazelka) April 5, 2020