Tuesday’s show of unity by Republican and Democratic leaders for Governor Tim Walz’s initial COVID vaccine distribution plan does not mean they still don’t have sharp differences over how soon Minnesota’s economy should re-open. House Republican Leader Kurt Daudt says:

“This is an opportunity for us to stand together on something we agree about. I think we all see the vaccine as a tool that will help us get to the end faster.”

But Daudt acknowledges Republicans want COVID regulations eased sooner than the governor:

“Rather than see the governor close down a health club because of COVID, for the governor to say, hey, this is what we think it takes in a health club to keep people safe, and challenge the health clubs to do that. And I think they’re willing and ready to do that.”

It’s expected Governor Walz will extend the restaurant, bar, health club and youth sports shutdown beyond December 18th. He warns the worst of the pandemic is still to come and Minnesota must control the spread of COVID until large numbers of people have been vaccinated.