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In a first, Michael Osterholm, concerned about ‘the health of the state,’ endorses a candidate: Tom Horner

Tom Horner, the Independence Party candidate for governor, picked up an unusual endorsement this morning: Michael Osterholm, who has spent his public life warning people about various pandemics, epidemics, rotten eggs and other perils.

Michael Osterholm
cidrap.umn.edu
Michael Osterholm

Tom Horner, the Independence Party candidate for governor, picked up an unusual endorsement this morning: Michael Osterholm, who has spent his public life warning people about various pandemics, epidemics, rotten eggs and other perils.

“These are serious times,” Osterholm said in a statement this morning endorsing Horner.

“I know people are accustomed to seeing me talking about serious health issues, such as the influenza pandemic. Today, I’ve come to endorse Tom Horner because the health of our state is at risk.”

Osterholm, who described himself as a political agnostic, said that the two pols he’s admired most are former DFL Gov. Rudy Perpich and former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson. But until this morning, he said he’d never endorsed a candidate.

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“I look at this election not as being about a political party, but about the future,” he said.

Osterholm has served administrations of both parties in various health-related functions. His highest-profile positions were as state epidemiologist from 1984 to 1999 and as a special adviser to President George W. Bush’s Health and Human Services secretary,  Tommy Thompson, on issues related to bio-terrorism.

He currently holds a host of titles, including director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.

By the way, in terms of the latest health scare, he says it’s OK to eat eggs if you fry ’em.