On Thursday, Senator Karin Housley (R-St. Marys Point), chair of the Senate Family Care and Aging Committee, issued the following statement:
“While I appreciate the work of Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcolm and her staff during this challenging period, I have seen little indication that the administration views the crisis in long-term care as a priority. I have repeatedly asked, both privately and publicly, for specific data and information, but those requests have been met with more vague responses and promises of future emails than useful information.
“This morning, I sent the commissioner a letter outlining more than a dozen outstanding questions that need to be answered—information of which I believe Minnesotans have a right to know. These questions will help tell a fuller story of how COVID-19 is affecting people in our state. Much of this information the department should have already. If the committee does not receive a satisfactory response by Friday afternoon, we will pursue a legislative subpoena under Minnesota Statutes 3.153 at a meeting on Tuesday afternoon.
“As the administration is quick to point out, much of its decision making relies on ‘science’ and ‘data’. While those are critical pieces of a successful response, I worry their approach has come to exist in a vacuum. After almost three months of total lockdown at long-term care facilities, residents and staff—and their families—are still terrified and exhausted. We need to see a better executed plan.”
Senator Karin Housley represents Forest Lake, Stillwater, and the surrounding St. Croix Valley in the Minnesota Senate. She serves as chair of the Senate Family Care and Aging Committee and is an assistant majority leader.