To the editor:

Just one day after being sworn in as a newly elected representative for District 19A (St. Peter, North Mankato), Rep. Susan Akland was a featured speaker at the “Storm the Capitol” rally in St. Paul on Jan. 6 at the same moment that violent right-wing insurrectionists invaded the Capitol building in Washington D.C. as part of a plot to hold lawmakers hostage at gunpoint and overthrow the election.

In a recent St. Peter Herald article, Akland claimed that her statements praising unmasked attendees were taken out of context. In the video of her remarks, Akland clearly says, “I had my mask on, cause it’s keeping my face warm, but I’m glad you don’t have yours.”

During her campaign, Akland attended numerous events unmasked and in close proximity with unmasked supporters. It is appalling that a retired nurse, married to a practicing doctor, would show such flagrant disregard for science, medicine, and the health and wellbeing of the very constituents she has now taken an oath to serve.

It is doubly appalling and frightening that, in her first move as an elected representative, she has voluntarily aligned herself with a violent, treasonous faction that seeks to sow disinformation and undermine public trust in the very democratic institutions and bodies that she campaigned to join.

With regard to Akland’s claim not to have known much about the event at which she agreed to speak and lend the weight of her elected office, she is either being disingenuous or dangerously ignorant and irresponsible. Neither is a comforting thought.

Akland has lost any shred of potential trust or goodwill — from constituents and her fellow lawmakers — that might have been granted to a newly elected representative. Susan Akland should apologize for her actions and resign immediately.

Yurie Hong

St. Peter

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