On May 7 Governor Tim Walz proudly set forth a five-point “battle plan” to secure the safety of our nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Great idea, except it’s six weeks and hundreds of deaths too late.

Governor Walz issued his first stay at home order on March 25. This order instructed us to stay home and closed thousands of businesses deemed “non-essential.”

The Walz brain trust spent days determining “non-essential” businesses and activities such as camping, barbershops, golf courses, restaurants, bars and more. Also prohibited were “elective” medical procedures including cancer screenings, mammograms, dentistry, physical exams, chiropractic, cataract surgery, physical rehabilitation, psychiatric care and more.

They were very busy saving our lives and apparently forgot to prohibit active COVID-19 victims from working in or being admitted into nursing homes. By this time it was clear that these citizens were by far the most vulnerable to the disease the governor was trying so hard to thwart.

Golf courses were allowed to open on April 18. And even the governor knew he couldn’t get away with trying to stop Minnesotans from fishing and also opened our waterways on April 18.

In the ensuing weeks meager bones were thrown at us such as allowing salons to sell shampoo by special order but not cut hair while nursing homes still employed infected workers and accepted infected residents.

So, why did it take six weeks and hundreds of our parents’ and grandparents’ lives for the governor to order this common sense edict?

Governor Walz’s incomprehensible negligence must be investigated and he must be held accountable. Minnesotans deserve to know.

Governor Walz, if you have an ounce of decency you will at least give up your emergency powers and ideally resign in disgrace. — Marshall Hogenson, Otsego

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