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Trump Can’t Defend Ineffective Coronavirus Response in Minnesota


With 99 days until the election, the Trump administration is eager to change the topic from soaring COVID-19 infections and devastating unemployment numbers – so they sent Ivanka Trump to Minnesota for a photo op today. Nothing about the visit of an unelected Trump campaign surrogate changes the fact that Minnesotans see through Trump’s chronically ineffective leadership in the time of crisis.

Here’s what DFL leaders are saying about the visit:

Ken Martin, Chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party“Manufacturing in Minnesota has been an afterthought for the Trump administration and the Republican Party. President Trump claimed he would fight for American workers and revitalize manufacturing. Instead, he has left them to fend for themselves while he caters to corporations and the wealthy. Minnesota’s workers deserve a president who will look out for them and be thinking of them every day in the Oval Office. That’s Joe Biden. His background, his experience, and his compassion will make him an outstanding advocate for workers.”

Rep. Liz Olson (07B): “At a time when hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans are out of work, the Trump administration believes we should cut unemployment benefits for those who need it most. Meanwhile, Republicans want to shield corporations and employers from liability if their workers get sick on the job. It’s another example of an administration that caters to its wealthiest donors and massive corporations over working class families. Minnesota’s workers deserve a president and congressperson that looks out for them – and President Trump and Congressman Stauber are not it.”

Over 167,000 Minnesotans lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and Trump’s failure to contain the virus – and yet Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have proposed slashing the unemployment insurance benefits that families rely upon to make ends meet. 

KARE 11: “Grove says about 450,000 Minnesotans currently rely on that weekly $600 check to help pay the bills.”

Business Insider: “President Donald Trump on Tuesday signaled that Republicans might reduce the enhanced unemployment benefits from $600 a week to a level that’s roughly 70% of an average jobless person’s lost wages.”

The situation is even worse for Black Minnesotans. 

Star Tribune: “Nearly 1 in 2 Black workers in Minnesota have applied for unemployment benefits since mid-March. For white workers, it is about 1 in 4, according to the Minnesota Department…More than one-quarter of Black workers were still making weekly unemployment claims in June compared with 9% of white workers.”

Despite Governor Walz’s successful efforts to dramatically expand COVID-19 testing, Trump’s botched COVID-19 response has been particularly devastating in Minnesota, where the export-heavy economy has slowed, leaving workers stranded. 

Star Tribune: “But Minnesota’s manufacturers have been feeling more pain than their counterparts in other states in part because they depend more heavily on trade, which has severely curtailed during the pandemic, said Ernie Goss, who oversees Creighton’s Mid-America Business Conditions Index.”

This economic downturn is made even worse by Trump’s toxic trade policies with China, which did little to help farmers and manufacturers. 

Star Tribune: “Minnesota businesses have paid an extra $704 million on products subject to Trump administration tariffs, including $72 million in September, according to data collected by the Trade Partnership and distributed by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a group organizing events across the country to raise awareness about the effects of the trade war. That is just the cost of importing products. Tariffs also make U.S. exports less competitive. Since the trade war began, Minnesota exports have faced $372 million in new retaliatory tariffs from U.S. trading partners, including $30 million in September.”

New York Times: “‘We’re not starting to do great again,’ Brian Thalmann, the president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, told Mr. Perdue at the event. ‘Things are going downhill and downhill quickly.’ On Monday, after a 72-hour period during which Mr. Trump twice escalated his trade war with China, Mr. Thalmann said he could no longer support the president as he did in 2016.”