To the editor:

Covid-19 is having a devastating impact on so many of my family, friends, students, and community members. My despair and anger at the current administration’s mishandling of this crisis keeps me awake at night, and I can’t stop thinking about how much people are suffering and what I can do to help.

That’s why I’ve been so stunned at Rep. Hagedorn’s response to this crisis. Hagedorn has never expressed any particular concern for the most vulnerable people living in his district. But I thought, surely - since this pandemic is ravaging immigrant workers in Worthington, upending students’ futures, making families go hungry, and threatening our grandparents and elders – surely now he will express concern and support policies that would keep his constituents safe and secure. And yet, nothing.

Hagedorn’s thundering silence reflects an obscene lack of empathy and a cavalier acceptance of vast amounts of preventable human suffering. Worst of all, Hagedorn puts even more lives at risk by ignoring medical experts from Mayo and Rochester (in his own district) in favor of spreading conspiracy theories and dangerous disinformation online.

Dan Feehan is Hagedorn’s complete opposite. Since the beginning of this crisis, his first impulse was to help people. Every day, Dan publicly expresses concern for all southern Minnesotans, especially the most vulnerable, and puts actions behind those words – checking in on constituents, volunteering for a food shelf to deliver food to hungry families; meeting with small business owners, farmers, teachers, and college students; sharing information from medical experts and government officials through virtual town halls; and reading books to kids online.

Dan’s actions give me hope and provide all of us with a model for how we can help each other through this crisis: find out what people need, get expert advice, and then just get to work.

He personifies the Minnesota values of pulling together and caring for our neighbors no matter how much money they make or where they come from.

Dan Feehan is a true local hero - not just because he served our country in Iraq, in the classroom, and at the Pentagon - but because he puts us in touch with our humanity and reminds us, through his words and his deeds, what government is supposed to be – helping people. I want Dan’s compassion and integrity to represent me in Washington. Don’t you?

Yurie Hong

St. Peter

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