Minnesota is still under executive orders by Gov. Tim Walz to strictly regulate large events in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Attorney General Keith Ellison told the Star Tribune this week his office contacted the Northfield farm scheduled to host a Tuesday campaign event featuring the president’s son, Eric Trump.
“Our goal in making inquiries like these, which we have been making of events for months, is to protect people’s lives,” Ellison said. “We do not try to stop events, we simply try to make sure they’re held safely.”
Ellison said venue owners had assured his office they had a COVID preparedness plan, one his office was still waiting for the copy it asked for by Tuesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Minnesota Republicans, who've been campaigning indoors without masks for months on end, bristled at the perceived interference.
“The abuse of power and control from certain elected officials in Minnesota is infringing on the rights of our citizens,” said Republican Party of Minnesota chair Jennifer Carnahan, adding that the party was filing a cease-and-desist order with the attorney general’s office.
“Did he ask for a plan when people looted Mpls?” she asked on Twitter, opting to compare spontaneous unrest with a planned political rally for a national election.
.@AGEllison used all the mechanisms of his office to threaten/intimidate the Felton’s today. Did he ask for a plan when people looted Mpls? The Felton family has a protected 1st Amendment Freedom of Association, and Ellison’s henchmen abused the power of his office. Period. https://t.co/nkzAFUzDov— Jennifer Carnahan (@jkcarnah) October 14, 2020
Regardless of so-called “intimidation,” the rally went on as planned. And if appearances are anything to go by, it doesn’t look like there were a whole lot of safety protocols being followed.
Here’s a shot from Eric Trump’s Instagram.
And one posted by the state Republican Party on Facebook.
Minnesotans welcomed Eric Trump back to Minnesota today. He inspired, encouraged and motivated a great crowd of...Posted by Republican Party of Minnesota on Tuesday, October 13, 2020
And another from within the crowd.
Not a mask in sight. Just living life.— Karlee Sue (@KarleeKanz) October 14, 2020
(Ok sorry, like, one or two.) pic.twitter.com/EkeEx7obck
As of Wednesday afternoon, nearly 2,200 Minnesotans had died of COVID-19.
That’s in no small part due to so-called super-spreader events -- like South Dakota motorcycle rallies or large campaign gatherings. Minnesota health officials announced on Monday that 16 cases have been tied to a Trump rally at an outdoor airport in Bemidji back in mid-September, along with three more cases from the Duluth rally at the end of the month – soon after which President Donald Trump himself tested positive. An additional two cases were traced back to Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s campaign events, also in Duluth, and another three were tied to an appearance by Vice President Mike Pence at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport on September 24.
Check back in a couple weeks to see if anyone spread it on Tuesday for the chance to see... Eric Trump.