House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt criticized Gov. Tim Walz for “causing harm to industries without data to back it up” during a Tuesday press conference.
Daudt, a Republican from Crown, pointed to Walz’s closure of movie theaters as one of the more “baffling” examples.
“The folks involved with the movie theaters are telling us that there hasn’t been a single documented case of COVID transmission in a movie theater in Minnesota or in the entire country, yet Gov. Walz has closed movie theaters in the state of Minnesota,” said Daudt.
In fact, as of Nov. 23, not a single case of COVID-19 had been traced back to movie theaters globally, according to the Los Angeles Times. Nonetheless, Walz’s Nov. 19 executive order explicitly calls for the closure of “theaters” and “cinemas.”
One movie theater in Hopkins, Minnesota, closed its doors permanently shortly after Walz announced his new restrictions.
“A movie theater is a place where you sit quietly in one seat, you don’t move, you don’t exercise, you don’t breathe heavily. You can wear a mask, you can sit with your loved ones from your own household and they can structure that so you sit 20 feet apart from other people,” said Daudt, who called on Walz to open up fitness centers as well.
“We think that health clubs are an essential thing that help Minnesotans stay safe and we want to make sure people have the opportunity to get into a health club and exercise,” he continued.
As of Nov. 24, just .003% of all COVID-19 cases in Minnesota had been traced back to a gym or health club.
“I think we should find ways to open these businesses safely. That’s the key,” said Daudt, who claimed that the governor has “really missed an opportunity to work with the Legislature and to include us in the process.”
“There are so many things we could be having hearings on so that we can be engaged but I do fault the governor a little bit in that he has failed to engage with the Legislature,” he added. “I think it’s incumbent on him to include us and show some leadership.”