The Minnesota Democrat Farmer Laborer (DFL) released a statement following a letter signed by over 30 Minnesota Republican (GOP) House lawmakers condemning a COVID vaccine mandate implemented by Mayo Clinic, calling the letter “deeply disturbing.”
The letter from the GOP lawmakers originated with Republican Minority Leader Representative Peggy Bennett (R-Albert Lea), citing “concerns” over Mayo’s “COVID vaccine mandate policy.”
Bennett wrote, “This top down, heavy-handed, all-or-none employee policy does not fit the reputation or image we know the Mayo Clinic to have. Religious exemptions seem to be difficult to obtain and inconsistent. There are examples of one spouse working at Mayo receiving the religious exemption and the other spouse did not.”
She went on to say that while neither she nor many of Mayo’s employees are opposed to vaccinations and “there certainly have been benefits shown from these mRNA vaccines in protecting against severe illness and death, there are also legitimate concerns – including a lack of available long term safety data and documented severe side effects like myocarditis.”
Bennett continued, “We are simply asking that both sides be acknowledged and considered in your vaccine policy. People deserve to make this decision based on the benefits and risks for themselves and not coerced or forced into doing so by threat of losing one’s job.”
The Minnesota DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin said that the Republicans were “attacking” Mayo for its mandate. He wrote, “It is deeply disturbing that Minnesota Republicans would attack a world-renowned medical center for requiring its employees to be vaccinated against a deadly pandemic.”
Martin added Republican lawmakers were trying to “discourage vaccination.”
He said, “Minnesota has lost over 10,000 of our friends, neighbors, and community members to COVID-19, but instead of working to curb the spread of the virus, Republican lawmakers are trying to discourage vaccination.”
Martin said Republicans would cause more suffering if their push to remove the COVID vaccine mandate was successful.
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Hayley Feland is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun and The Wisconsin Daily Star | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mayo Clinic, Minneapolis” by Mayo Clinic.