speech excerpts

On the spread of COVID-19

There's no stopping the storm of COVID-19 from hitting Minnesota, but we are preparing for it.

On staying home

Minnesotans are hardworking people who step in to help. In many storms, that means plowing out your neighborhood, filling sandbags, or trudging through the snow to check on your loved ones. Now that means staying home. What you are doing isn't paralysis — it's action. … Staying home is the only vaccine we have right now.

To children

I know this is scary. I know you miss seeing your teachers and your classmates. I know it's disappointing that many of the important end-of-school activities have been canceled. I know there are athletes out there who were prepared to go win state championships on diamonds and fields across the state. ... But what you are doing matters. Your sacrifice is keeping people safe. You are protecting people. Someday when you have children of your own, you will tell them about this moment in history and what you did to help the people of your state.

To parents

I know this is hard. Many of you are watching your children while trying to work yourselves. And you're worried about the bills. This is hard for everyone. Take a deep breath. Be kind to yourself. We are all doing the best we can — and that's all we can do.

On freedom of movement

Minnesotans, I don't take what we've asked you to do lightly. I served in the Army National Guard for 24 years. I raised my hand to defend freedom and liberty. In a democracy, any action to restrict these rights cannot be enacted lightly. But at the moment, they are critical — to save lives.

On hope

We are going to do everything in our power to save lives — and as hard as we work — we won't be able to save everyone. … It's going to be a cold winter. How do we get through a cold winter? We get through it together. As One Minnesota.

On Minnesota's collective spirit

We shovel our neighbor's sidewalk. We push out a stranger's car. We donate hats and mittens. This collective spirit empowers us to endure winter — and it is how we will endure this crisis as well.

On the State of the State

Our blood saved the Union at Gettysburg. Our iron forged the tanks that liberated Europe. Our farmers sparked a green revolution that fed the world. Our imagination transformed medicine — and appears poised to do so once again. The State of our State is strong.

Online: Read the governor's full speech at startribune.com