Minnesota State Fair
The official state advocacy group for Minnesotans with disabilities will not be at the State Fair this year.
The Minnesota Council on Disability (MCD) announced Friday that it had made the “difficult decision” not to attend the event due to a “lack of guidance and guidelines” regarding COVID-19.
The group also shared their open letter to local state fair leaders and officials calling for stricter pandemic measures at the Minnesota State Fair:
Throughout the summer, we have reached out to government leadership and the State Fair leadership to create a safe and welcoming environment for Minnesotans with disabilities and aging Minnesotans. Unfortunately, our executives did not advocate demanding masks, vaccines or crowds at the state fair.
MCD also calls on Minnesotans altogether, saying they have opposed masking and vaccination “despite the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on Minnesotans with disabilities and aging Minnesotans.”
“By not creating a safe place for all Minnesotans to meet, MCD’s presence at the State Fair this year would reinforce the message to society that the lives of people with disabilities are less important,” the organization added.
“We cannot support the refusal to make tough decisions that will upset some but likely save many.”
The letter also notes that Minnesota is “dangerously close” to a 5.0% positivity rate for the delta variant of COVID-19, which would be considered “significant prevalence” under CDC guidelines.
MCD ends the message by calling the lack of stricter COVID-19 guidelines an “implicit message that Minnesotans with disabilities are asked not to attend the state fair”.
“We believe this letter can serve as a wake-up call to our leaders and State Fair leaders, that it is never too late to do the right thing, and that society can and must do better,” MCD writes.
The group also noted that they have been attending the fair for “many years”.
BringMeTheNews has requested a comment from the State Fair.
MCD was founded by state lawmakers in 1973 to advise the government on disability issues, the website said. Its mission is to “advocate policies and programs in the public and private sectors that promote the rights of Minnesota people with disabilities”.
The Minnesota State Fair is scheduled for Thursday, August 26th through Labor Day, September 6th.