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Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Jim Hagedorn (MN-01)

WASHINGTON – Reps. Jim Hagedorn (MN-01), Tom Emmer (MN-06) and Pete Stauber (MN-08) wrote a letter to Governor Tim Walz encouraging him to establish guidelines for the responsible, safe and prompt reopening of hospitals and other medical care providers to the general public.

In recent weeks, the congressmen have stayed in regular touch with healthcare networks and medical providers in their districts. These medical professionals have expressed concern over both the potential loss of life that could result from skipping doctor visits and consultations due to fear of coronavirus and the dwindling resources that many providers are facing due to postponement of elective procedures.

“We remain deeply concerned that the medical needs of Minnesotans are being neglected and those in immediate need of life-saving treatment or surgery are one day closer to a terminal diagnosis or even death. For this reason, we believe a new strategy must be implemented to care for COVID-19 cases, while reopening Minnesota’s medical facilities to residents in need of tests, surgeries, treatments, and general consultations,” the lawmakers wrote.

“As someone whose life has been saved due to an accidental and unexpected medical diagnosis and prompt cancer treatment, I am concerned with the likely loss of life related to Americans who are being denied medical care or are frightened to visit the doctor due to the coronavirus,” said Hagedorn. “It is time to get healthcare professionals back to work so all Americans have access to life-saving and timely, quality medical care.”

“I am proud to stand with my colleagues in urging Governor Walz to establish guidance for health care providers,” said Emmer. “During a time when some of our brave nurses and doctors are on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19, we are seeing others laid off and out of work, while thousands of backlogged surgeries continue to pile up. Many Minnesotans need medical care during this crisis that they have been unable to receive. We cannot forget those who need care now. As this crisis begins to wane, and individuals are able to get the much needed care they need, clarity for the health care sector is paramount.”

“While we are fortunate that Minnesota’s Eighth District has not seen a great amount of COVID-19 cases, our hospitals have been forced to terminate critical health consultations and services,” said Stauber. “Further, hundreds of medical professionals have been either laid off or hours severely cut. These ICU practitioners, doctors, surgeons, and USW union nurses are needed to provide the medical care many of my constituents in rural Minnesota so desperately need. It is time we safely allow our medical professionals to go back to work, and continue to do what they do best: provide quality medical care to Minnesotans. Therefore, I am proud to join Congressman Emmer and Congressman Hagedorn in calling on the Governor to craft a plan that allows our medical providers to responsibly operate and meet the health care needs of all Minnesotans.”

Read the full letter here.

Jim Hagedorn was elected in 2018 to represent Minnesota’s First District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He grew up on his family’s grain and livestock farm near Truman. Jim’s father, former U.S. Congressman Tom Hagedorn (MN-02), grandfather, and great-grandfather were all southern Minnesota farmers. Jim currently resides in the rural farming community of Blue Earth. Hagedorn brings policy experience to Capitol Hill from time spent as a congressional aide to former U.S. Congressman Arlan Stangeland (MN-07) and a congressional relations officer for two non-partisan U.S. Department of the Treasury agencies. Hagedorn serves on the House Committees on Agriculture and Small Business to promote farming, Main Street enterprises and southern Minnesota’s way of life.