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Osterholm asked to join Biden’s COVID-19 task force

Plus: Minnesota women on Kamala Harris’ speech; the Minnesota youth vote; COVID-19 surging in rural areas; and more.

Michael Osterholm
University of Minnesota
Michael Osterholm
Osterholm called in. WCCO reports: “A University of Minnesota professor and infectious disease expert will be advising President-Elect Joe Biden as he prepares to take on COVID-19 while in the White House. … CBS News has learned that Dr. Michael Osterholm, an expert in tracking the worldwide spread of the virus, will be named Monday to Biden’s COVID-19 task force.

Minnesota women on Kamala Harris’ speech. KSTP’s Eric Rasmussen reports: “In the hours after a tight presidential race was called in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, the significance and symbolism of the moment was felt from Washington, D.C. to the Twin Cities. … On Sunday, five Minnesota women shared their reactions to the reality that Harris will be the first woman and the first person of color to become vice president of the United States. … ‘When she walked out last night, I just bawled. I was bawling,’ said former Minnesota State Rep. Erin Maye Quade.”

On the youth vote. The Star Tribune’s Zoë Jackson reports: “At a small, tight-knit private university in Winona, the leaders of both the college Democrats and Republicans found unity and cast votes for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, saying they were looking to turn a page on the nation’s divided politics. … Jonathon Krull, head of the College Republicans at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, explained it as a step away from the past four years of political combat over President Donald Trump. … ‘I felt as if it’s time we move forward, put the partisanship aside and come together,’ Krull said. … Although Krull supported GOP candidates elsewhere on the ballot, his vote against Trump reflected a broader generational shift in the 2020 election.”

Coronavirus is everywhere. MPR’s Kirsti Marohn reports: “As Minnesota’s latest coronavirus surge spreads across the central part of the state, CentraCare, the region’s main health care provider, is seeing rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in its hospitals. … Almost a quarter of the patients at St. Cloud Hospital have COVID-19, and the intensive care units at CentraCare hospitals are nearly full, with more than half of those cases related to the virus.”

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Checking in from Hibbing. The Mesabi Tribune’s Eric Killelea and Jerry Burnes report: “The physicians and nurses at Fairview Range — the largest medical facility on the Iron Range — have been on the front lines of the regional surge of the coronavirus. … They are pulling long hours as many of the worst outbreaks in Minnesota right now are in rural counties and cities found in the northern parts of the state. Where earlier peaks were centralized in the Twin Cities and suburbs, the current surge is hitting sparsely populated regions where smaller medical centers are recording increases in hospitalizations due to an uptick in community spread of the virus. Last month, health care leaders from Essentia Health and St. Luke’s, with a combined 700 beds in Duluth, told the Star Tribune that their staff were operating near capacity and they were working on surge plans to prepare for a ‘perfect storm’ at the start of the flu season and the ongoing increases in coronavirus cases. Like many other hospitals, the plan called for the need to move patients between facilities across the state.”

Meet Black Garnet Books. In Mpls.St.Paul, Madison Bloomquist writes: “A few months ago, Dionne Sims was another 20-something grinding out the start of a sensible career. She was a user experience (UX) designer at a major corporation. A good job. Solid prospects. But then the life of George Floyd was stolen, and the tectonic plates of the Twin Cities shifted inalterably, taking Dionne Sims with them. … ‘Minnesota doesn’t have a black-owned bookstore,’ she tweeted on June 15. ‘I think that’s my new dream.’ Her post didn’t go unnoticed: it garnered more than 14,000 likes, and before she knew it, the only Black-owned bookstore in the state began to materialize.”