Controversial Emails From MDH Surface Regarding Youth Sports Pause
Let Them Play MN, a nonprofit group that has been pushing "to resume all sports and activities across the state, safely and responsibly" shared an interesting email sent to Minnesota Department of Health staff members by MDH Deputy Commissioner Margaret Kelly.
The Let Them Play group contends that the emails prove a lack of actionable data concerning last year's 'pausing' of youth sports in Minnesota.
Kelly addresses Daniel Huff and Kris Ehresmann of the Minnesota Department of Health in the email, dated November 18th, 2020, while including Nicholas Kimball and Jan Malcom in the email's recipient list.
"Dan and Kris - (Governor Walz) made an ask this morning on the daily call about what data we could provide to help articulate the need to hit a pause on youth sports. I don't know what data has been put together to support and communicate the decision (not asking to review it). Sounds like (Walz) is starting to get a lot of push back. Specifically, he is wondering if we can help connect the dots between attending a youth sporting event and then showing up for work at a (Long Term Care) facility, or going to the bar and then to work at the LTC.
First Lady asked if we had data or could help communicate the similarity between attending a youth sporting event to having an extended dinner at a restaurant or to musical events (time unmasked, laughing, talking loudly).
May be just a communications need rather than data, but checking."
Kimball responded to the email saying:
"We can definitely work the communication angle, think there’s a fair bit we can do talking about what makes for risky situations and environments. Margaret, I think you outlined it well. If there is any data – and I’m not sure what it would be so don’t want to really suggest anything so as not to limit the thinking – it would be helpful. I do fully recognize that leaning too heavily on the data on this front is fighting the battle on the wrong playing field. But if there is a little something we can point to, beyond the outbreak numbers, it’d be helpful."
Let Them Play MN has filed a lawsuit against Governor Tim Walz and got the emails through a public-records request. All of the emails can be viewed HERE.