AG Keith Ellison on legal action in response to COVID-19 violations: 'We don't enjoy this'

Kyle Brown
Updated: December 20, 2020 12:00 PM
Created: December 20, 2020 10:24 AM

Gov. Tim Walz's recent shutdown orders have been the cause of deepening divisions among Minnesotans, and bar and restaurant owners are growing increasingly desperate.

Most have been abiding by the orders, while some have been openly and publicly defying the governor — and it's gotten the attention of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.

The attorney general joined us on "At Issue" to explain his office's recent crackdown on COVID-19 violations. He said the vast majority of Minnesota businesses have complied with the governor's orders but that he has a duty to enforce the law when violations become a public health hazard.

"None of these business owners, not one of them wants to expose people to this deadly virus. Our public health professionals tell us that's what happens when you gather people in this way, and so we're only trying to protect people's health and we want people to know we don't enjoy this," Ellison said.

He also said he's optimistic about restrictions loosening up in the next couple of months if cases continue to fall.

"I believe that in a short period of time, the governor will open up for occupancy in the restaurants and bars again," Ellison said. "Again, we've got to see the numbers come down, and that's what we're looking for. So if we can get better compliance now, I think we're looking at a better January, February, which we all want."

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