The Cloquet community has a long history of having family-friendly events around major holidays in their community. Labor Day is no exception where the city has a large parade and family-friendly events at Veterans Park. Except this is 2020 and like all things 2020 this year would be different. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the organizers of the Cloquet Labor Day celebrations decided to cancel this year’s events. Having a parade and other events was deemed just too dangerous. While the virus scared off the parade, it didn’t scare off the DFL Party of Minnesota.
The DFL Party decided, in the middle of a pandemic, to host a “COVID-careful” chili cook-off. Clearly having large numbers of people congregate and pass food around is safe to do during this pandemic. The DFL party assured the public that COVID protocols would be followed, social distancing would be enforced, and everyone would be required to wear masks. Local news media showed the event to be successful and safe. Participants, however, told a different story.
The chili cook-off was nothing more than a cover for a full-blown political rally, complete with a live band. Political candidates used this as an opportunity to meet people in the community in a very COVID uncareful way. The state-wide mask mandate, implemented by DFL Governor Walz, requires the use of cloth face coverings outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained. At this political rally, social distancing was not enforced as candidates shook hands with hundreds of local residents. With no social distancing, a mask requirement surely would have been enforced – but so few people wore masks that those working the event for the DFL didn’t even wear them.
The DFL saw a captive audience in the Cloquet Community with the cancellation of the Labor Day festivities. Instead of playing it safe, the DFL decided to hold a political rally. At the rally, they couldn’t even follow the executive order created by their own DFL governor. Their actions put an entire community at risk for additional COVID 19 spread for nothing than their own political gain.
Here is a list of candidates that were at the event:
- State Auditor Julie Blaha
- State DFL Party Vice Chair Marge Hoffa
- State Representative-11A- Mike Sundin
- State Senate candidate-11- Michelle Lee
- State House candidate-HD11B- Jack Frechette
- State House candidate- HD10- Steve Samuelson
- Congressional Candidate- CD 8- Quinn Nystrom