Minnesota Reps. Glenn Gruenhagen, Eric Lucero and Mary Franson spoke with Alpha News this week, explaining how they’ve fought for health freedom and what comes next in this battle.
Many state Republicans have carried bills and amendments aimed at protecting health freedom for years — even before the coronavirus pandemic. Gruenhagen and Lucero joined Alpha News in-studio to detail the measures they’ve advocated for in the House while Franson underscored why the party believes this issue is important.
“There’s been allegations that Republicans have not been doing anything,” Gruenhagen said. “We have been doing things, a lot, we’ve been fighting on this and we want to get the word out about that … I’ve been doing it way back as far as 2013.”
Specifically, Gruenhagen reports that he filed four bills aimed at preserving health freedom during the last session while Lucero filed eight. Franson has also signed on alongside others to carry a health care freedom bill drafted by former Sen. Scott Jensen who is currently running for governor.
Collectively, these bills seek to achieve transparency regarding the ingredients and possible side effects of all vaccines, not just the COVID shot, ensure that businesses cannot require proof of vaccination from their patrons, oppose vaccination mandates, prevent future lockdowns and more.
“It’s very difficult to get things through” under “a Democratic governor who doesn’t seem to be supportive of these things,” Gruenhagen said.
Lucero echoed this assessment, explaining that his constituents sometimes ask him why Republicans have not successfully passed more legislation to oppose vaccine mandates.
“My entire time in office we’ve had a Democrat governor,” he said. “Democrats, progressives, leftists are not interested in transparency and empowering people to make their own choices.”
Gruenhagen believes progressives should support efforts to provide more transparency “because it would lower the temperature of this debate quite a bit.”
Minnesota Reps. Gruenhagen and Lucero explain that House Republicans have fought for health freedom pic.twitter.com/yvKPhnQcKH
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) September 28, 2021
“This issue of medical freedom has always been near and dear to me. It is the hill we must die on,” Franson told Alpha News.
“Without our fundamental right to be free from medical tyranny, our American values cease to exist,” she continued. “Vaccine mandates will lead to vaccine passports if we don’t hold the line and collectively say ‘no’ to the madness. It’s unfathomable that one would want to be tethered to a QR code where big government, big tech, big business, and big Pharma would turn freedoms into privileges for compliance. We must stand united against vaccine mandates and vaccine passports.”
Her concerns about the impact of pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists are broadly echoed by other House Republicans.
“Money can corrupt things,” Gruenhagen said. Lobbyists and monied health industry interests “have an agenda that isn’t necessarily helpful to the overall cause of advancing and protecting our God-given, individual, constitutional liberties,” Lucero added.
Moving forward, the next opportunity these lawmakers will have to advocate the cause of health care freedom is during a potential special session that may occur soon if Gov. Tim Walz allows it.
The purpose of this session would be to discuss and approve a bill to give frontline workers a quarter-billion dollar reward for their service during the pandemic. Minnesota Republicans can propose bills they support as amendments to this larger initiative during the session. However, Walz has little motivation to allow the session to proceed, as some Republicans have vowed to use it to depose left-wing Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm — a Walz appointee.
Even if the special session does not occur, the legislators say their health freedom advocacy will continue and their bills will remain on the table when the Legislature reconvenes in January.