Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz touched on nothing but the coronavirus pandemic during his second State of the State address Sunday night.
The address was originally scheduled to take place March 23 before a joint meeting of the House and Senate, but was canceled because of the pandemic. Instead, Walz delivered a televised address from the Governor’s Residence that was just over 10 minutes long.
Unlike his first State of the State, Walz broke from his off-the-cuff speaking style and read a scripted address that began by describing a deserted Minnesota landscape.
“A new vocabulary to define our new reality. It is a hard, cold reality, one that far exceeds the reality of Minnesota’s harshest winters,” said Walz. “Many of you are out of work. Businesses large and small are shuttered across the state. The companionship we normally lean on through difficult times – those things are out of reach now. Vacant streets and deserted classrooms. Empty pews, chairs stacked in empty restaurants. Graduations, weddings, and funerals postponed.”
“Right at the time Minnesotans are usually putting away their shovels and snowblowers, opening up their windows and emerging from their homes, we’re bracing for a storm of epic proportions,” he continued.
But the second half of the governor’s short speech struck a more optimistic tone and appealed to the resiliency of Minnesotans.
“We’re used to long winters in Minnesota. We are resilient people with a deep reserve of courage, optimism, and grit,” said Walz, who thanked residents for abiding by the shelter-in-place requirements.
“What you are doing isn’t paralysis; it’s action,” said the governor. “Staying home is the only vaccine we have right now. You are slowing the spread of this disease. You are protecting your neighbors.”
The shelter-in-place order is set to expire Friday evening, but the governor has hinted at extending the order, possibly through the end of the month.
Minnesota now has 935 confirmed COVID-19 cases and had experienced 29 fatalities as of Sunday evening.
Walz declared that a “new day will come” and said the state will emerge from the pandemic stronger.
“We won’t just make it to spring; we’ll come out on the other side better from this winter because we are Minnesotans. We see challenges and we tackle them,” he concluded.
“No matter how daunting the challenge, no matter how dark the times, Minnesota has always risen up by coming together. It was our blood that saved the Union at Gettysburg. It was our iron that forged the tanks that liberated Europe. Our farmers sparked the green revolution that fed the world, and it was our imagination that transformed medicine and it appears poised to do so once again.”
Watch his full address below:
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