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CDC pulls COVID surveyors out of Minnesota after reports of threats, racism

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed that it pulled it's worked from Minnesota after being intimidated and threatened.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed that it pulled it’s worked from Minnesota after being intimidated and threatened.

Health officials were taking part in the Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response, or CASPER survey between Sept. 14 and Sept. 30. It’s a voluntary, in-person survey to understand the effect COVID-19 is having on the community. The surveyors were visiting 180 Minnesota neighbourhoods, offering free COVID-19 tests.

Federal and official health workers hoped that the information gleaned from the surveys to assist them in making better decisions to tailor the needs of the specific community.

One incident occurred in Eitzen, MN, on Sep.15. Minnesota’s Department of Health said that a CDC team was threatened when members brandished a weapon while they were trying to identify themselves. The men allegedly used various racial slurs against the surveyors.


The CDC also said that they recognized a pattern whereby teams with people of colour were reporting incidents at a higher frequency than their peers.

Following the incidents, officials from Eitzen took a different stance. Jeffery Adamson, the city’s mayor, released a statement where he refuted that the CDC surveyors were threatened or were treated in an aggressive or hostile manner. Mark Inglett, the Houston County Sheriff, added that his department is not conducting a criminal investigation.

The strongest rebuke came from Greg Davids, a councillor from Eitzen who demanded an apology from the MDH and Gov. Walz.

“This was a completely irresponsible story promoted by the Minnesota Department of Health, and equally irresponsible reporting by the media who, in its rush to judgment, ran with the story before any of these very troubling allegations had been verified. This is big government harassment needlessly inflicted on a city and its citizens. I demand that the people of Eitzen receive an immediate apology not only from the Department of Health but from Governor Walz,” the statement reads.

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