State Senator and medical doctor Scott Jensen publicly requested, Sunday, that Minnesota Governor Tim Walz rescind his executive order that compels the Department of Health to share COVID-19 related information with law enforcement agencies.
Walz signed into effect an executive order that compels healthcare providers to give law enforcement agencies the addresses of coronavirus patients, Friday. The state says this new policy is intended to protect first responders by letting them know if they may be entering an infected household. However, Jensen and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are concerned that this order represents a violation of privacy, and an overreach of executive power.
Jensen issued his request that the governor rescinds the order via Twitter, reaching across the aisle to join hand with the ACLU on this issue.
Governor Walz, I request that you rescind the EO compelling MDH to send Private Health Information on COVID-19 patients to hundreds of law enforcement agencies. That is an overreach of authority which is why the ACLU is opposing your action. https://t.co/BWW65dHwgJ
— Scott Jensen (@drscottjensen) April 13, 2020
Both Jensen and the ACLU have been hard at work since coronavirus came to Minnesota, opposing what they see as government infringement on citizens’ rights during a time of crisis.
The state senator says he was directed by the state, as a physician, to label deaths that appear to be COVID-19 related as such, even without official confirmation.
He has also commented on how authorities may be leveraging the public’s fear during the pandemic. “Fear is a great way to control people,” he said during an interview with KX4 last week. “Sometimes we’re so darn interested in jazzing up the fear factor that people’s’ ability to think for themselves is paralyzed.”
Jensen was also appeared on the the Ingraham Angle last week, voicing his concerns to the entire nation.
He has also pointed out how a state of emergency doesn’t actually give the governor extra powers or restrict the citizenry’s rights, according to the Minnesota Constitution.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota ACLU has been another public voice for individual rights during this time. On Friday, for example, the Union held town hall event to discuss “Civil Liberties in the Era of COVID-19.”