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Gazelka acknowledges issues with GOP caucus-gathering, COVID information sharing

Plus: MPCA environmental justice group members resign over Line 3 approval; Minnesota receives 2,400 of new COVID-19 drug; and more.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka
Mistakes were made. The Fargo Forum’s Dana Ferguson writes: “A top Minnesota Republican on Tuesday, Nov. 17, said he and others could’ve better handled reporting about the coronavirus among state senators following exposure at a post-election party. … Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, said he and other members of his caucus would learn from recent critiques after four state senators reported positive COVID-19 tests after attending a dinner party with more than 100 people two days after the general election. … ‘In recent days, there has been media and political criticism of the Senate majority caucus holding its traditional post-election caucus gathering and how we handled subsequent news that some of us at that event later tested positive for COVID-19,’ Gazelka said. ‘In hindsight, we could have handled the event and our information sharing differently.’

Hard line on Line 3. Also in the Forum, Matthew Guerry reports:Members of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s group on environmental justice have resigned en masse in response to the recent approval of permits for the Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project. … In a letter dated Monday, Nov. 16, the members said they ‘cannot continue to legitimize and provide cover for the MPCA’s war on black and brown people.’ Twelve members of the group, which according to an MPCA web page consists of 17 members, signed the letter addressed to MPCA Commissioner Laura Bishop.”

IV drip in the bucket. The Star Tribune’s Christopher Snowbeck reports:Minnesota is receiving about 2,400 doses of a new COVID-19 drug therapy that could reduce the need for hospital stays and trips to the emergency room. … The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has started distribution of bamlanivimab, the new treatment for people with mild and moderate cases of COVID-19, according to a Tuesday announcement from the Minnesota Department of Health. … With limited supplies of the treatment, the federal government expects to ship supplies of the medication on a weekly basis to health care facilities through the end of 2020, the Health Department says.”

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In other news…

Scary:Waseca Man Killed After Semi Crashes Through Mankato Hotel” [WCCO]

Despicable:Severed feet of four bald eagles, four suspected owls found in Woodbury” [Star Tribune]

Money down the drain:Indictment: Minnesota man used Federal CARES Act money to pay for pool” [KMSP]