Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz delivered his second State of the State address Sunday, urging residents to continue to come together to fight the coronavirus epidemic.
“You are slowing the spread of this disease,” Walz said. “You are protecting your neighbors. You are giving hospitals time to prepare to care for the many who will fall ill. You are making a difference and you are certainly saving lives.”
The 12-minute speech, posted in full here, was given from the residence instead of the State Capitol and broadcast online as the statewide Stay Home order remains in effect. Here's a look at what political leaders and others said about Walz's address.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, said in a video statement sent before the speech that Minnesota must "face this thing together."
"It's not Democrat or Republican its Americans together fighting this. And so we want the governor to be successful and we want the president to be successful... as [Walz] lays out his plan tonight we will try our best to rally around it. it's not just the life and health of the people of Minnesota, it's alos the economy that's being affected and people's livelihoods."
House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, applauded Walz’s speech and handling of the crisis, saying he was “made for this moment."
“Governor Walz and his Administration have shown incredible leadership and have served the people of Minnesota well during this crisis. The Minnesota House of Representatives will continue working with the Governor and doing everything we can to help Minnesotans during this difficult time and into the future."
House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said while the speech struck the right tone, the governor must weigh flexibility for those who can return to work safely moving forward.
"We echo Governor Walz's praise for the Minnesota heroes who are caring for the sick, protecting our communities, educating our kids, and keeping our state moving. Data is already indicating that by staying at home Minnesotans are doing their part to stop the spread of the virus and save many lives. Every day that Minnesotans remain in place brings us one day closer reopening our economy and returning to life as normal."
Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury, said the governor "delivered a message of hope and resilience that resonates with members of the legislature and Minnesotans statewide during this public health emergency."
“Minnesota continues to come together across lines of difference to tackle challenges head on during times of uncertainty because we are stronger together. Governor Walz’s leadership continues to be at the forefront of uniting Minnesotans."
The Minnesota Hospital Association thanked the governor "for working in close collaboration with the health care systems across Minnesota."
"Minnesota is fortunate to have strong leaders who are following the science of COVID-19 and putting the lives of Minnesotans at the center of their decision-making.”
Joe Davis, executive director of DFL-ally Alliance for a Better Minnesota, said Walz's “steady, forward-looking leadership is exactly what Minnesotans need to get through the coronavirus pandemic."
“Not only is Gov. Walz is doing what it takes to prepare us for the difficult days ahead, he’s also uniting us around our shared responsibility to one another. From those who are on the front lines working to keep Minnesotans safe and healthy, to those of us who are staying home, we all have a role to play in overcoming this crisis. It’s clear that Gov. Walz is putting Minnesotans’ health and safety first."
Scott Johnson of the conservative PowerLine Blog said the address was"big on uplift and short on facts regarding his order or the progress of the disease."
"We deserve better than this and better than the media’s nonfeasance."
Jonathan Weinhagen, president of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the "business community greatly appreciates that he’s leading the charge for our state.”
“Unprecedented times require clear, calm and thoughtful leadership. In his State of the State Address, Governor Walz showed once again he has a strong moral compass and puts the best interests of Minnesotans first. His experience as a teacher, coach and National Guard Command Sergeant Major helped prepare him for this battle."