Letter: An open letter to District 27A rep

Published 8:30 pm Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Dear Representative Bennett,

Every time I check the news there are numerous articles about the rapid spread of COVID. Minnesota is experiencing another wave of cases and a new variant.

Currently, there is no cure for COVID, nor any conclusive information on the long-term effects following an infection. Science supports the use of vaccinations, masks and social distancing to offer protection from catching it.

Republican politicians appear to encourage COVID to run rampant, killing people and infecting large numbers at gatherings. “Just running its course” is a misguided and dangerous way to handle a pandemic. If you look at the number of deaths in Minnesota and the country, there is no denying the extent of the suffering and death. To date (in the U.S.) more than 800,000 people have died of COVID and more than 140,000 children have lost primary caregivers to the disease.

On Dec. 13, a group of nine health care CEOs in Minnesota took out a full page ad that said, “We’re heartbroken. We’re overwhelmed,” pleading with people to get vaccinated and take precautions. In response, you authored — and 37 of your colleagues co-signed a request — that one of those CEOs, from world-renowned Mayo Clinic, stop enforcing an employee vaccine mandate. You directly threatened to withdraw your support for all state funding to Mayo if it doesn’t comply with your demand. With Mayo’s 71,350 employees vs. the three dozen complainants, that works out to .057% complaining.

Your disregard for expert advice is frightening. This is the worst pandemic of our lifetime, and you are encouraging people to “do their own thing” even at the expense of other peoples lives.

In your capacity as representative of District 27A, it is appalling to see such uncaring and dangerous suggestions as Mayo not enforcing vaccine mandates. I have been a nurse (RN-BSN) for 40 years. Health care workers get vaccinated to protect themselves and provide the safest possible environment for their patients.

Please stop putting “politics before people” and care about your constituents.

Katherine Pacovsky