Let Them Play MN calls out Walz for ‘ignoring the science’

“Apparently, in Minnesota, politics is the only game Gov. Walz believes is safe for kids.”

Stock Photo/ Unsplash, Isaiah Rustad

Let Them Play MN, a nonprofit, issued a press release outlining its concerns regarding the newest guidelines for youth sports.

A guidance released by the Minnesota Department of Health on Dec. 28 requires all youth sports players to wear masks during practices and, when the time comes, during games. A few exceptions exist, including wrestling, gymnastics, and swimming and diving.

Basketball and hockey players will be required to wear masks at all times. According to the guidelines, “People are not permitted to remove their face coverings during activities that involve a high level of exertion.”

Let Them Play MN’s news release states, “Governor Walz continues to ignore the science and ignore the harm caused to Minnesota’s kids.” It points to the science that says kids who play sports actually contract COVID-19 less frequently than those who do not play sports.

The news release takes on a sarcastic tone, stating, “Surely, Gov. Walz is following the best data and science available? Where should he check?”

Let Them Play recommends that Walz check data from the World Health Organization, which has said “People should NOT wear masks when exercising, as masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably … Sweat can make the mask become wet more quickly which makes it difficult to breathe and promotes the growth of microorganisms.”

The Mayo Clinic, which seemingly removed its webpage with information on wearing a mask while exercising, has favored the idea of wearing a mask only during low-impact activity rather than during “vigorous exercise.”

“This is because of the decreased airflow allowed through the mask which can affect breathing and your ability to properly regulate body temperature,” the Mayo Clinic said, according to Let Them Play. Dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, muscular weakness, and shortness of breath are all included in a list of things to be aware of when exercising with a mask on.

The news release also cites the CDC as saying, “(A)n activity that … require(s) using mouth guards or helmets. Wearing a mask with these types of protective equipment is not safe if it makes it hard to breathe.”

Despite all of these facts, Walz has instituted masking standards that apply to youth sports, but not to adults in their workplaces. The governor’s executive order does not require adults to wear a mask when “wearing a face covering would create a job hazard for the individual or others.”

To highlight the apparent contradiction, the news release states these two facts:

“In just one week (ending October 24), Minnesota had ’95 total workplace outbreaks … with the highest number of outbreaks (in) workplaces like retail and offices.’

For the entire year (through October 24), MDH found only 66 ‘confirmed outbreaks’ allegedly related to the more than 500,000 kids who play youth sports.”

The MDH and Walz are not required to explain their “decision to restrict youth sports while allowing shopping malls to be open at all, let alone exhaustively.”

Let Them Play MN concluded with this statement: “Apparently, in Minnesota, politics is the only game Gov. Walz believes is safe for kids.”

Let Them Play MN is a nonprofit group with a Facebook following of almost 25,000 people. The group is dedicated to overriding the governor’s orders regarding restrictions on youth sports. It sued Gov. Walz earlier this month and filed an emergency appeal to stop his ban on youth sports.