Gov. Walz: ‘State of Minnesota is strong,’ one Minnesota will defeat COVID-19

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Gov. Tim Walz delivered his State of the State address Sunday from the Minnesota Governor’s Residence in St. Paul instead of the traditional chamber of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

The governor thanked "all Minnesotans" who’ve sacrificed and "looked out for their neighbors" as his administration has imposed private and public restrictions on businesses and workers statewide.

"We have entered into long hours of darkness in a very cold winter of COVID-19," Walz said. "But brilliant minds and the people of this great state will lead us out of it and into rays of light and success."

Walz praised the efforts of private companies such as 3M, Medtronic and the Mayo Clinic in the fight against COVID-19, as well as the hard work and sacrifices of small businesses and everyday Minnesotans.

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"The best vaccine we have right now is staying home, and you are doing just that," Walz said. "Minnesotans, in hard times, always step right into the fight."

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, praised the governor’s speech and its tone but said Republicans hope the governor will allow people to go back to work as soon as they can without jeopardizing their health.

"We applaud his move to give flexibility to dock workers and DMV offices; he should apply that same flexibility to other businesses that can continue their operations safely," Daudt said.

Walz finished his 12-minute speech to Minnesotans by telling them there are still tough times in front of the state during COVID-19, but he said a united Minnesota will come out on the other side better and stronger.

The governor did not mention his stay-at-home order, which expires this Friday, but he did say last week a decision on an extension of the order could come by the middle of this week.

Full video and transcript of Gov. Walz’s State of the State address