Senator Sandy Pappas (DFL-St. Paul) sent a letter (see attached) to Governor Tim Walz today urging him to consider collaborating and working with new partners in the fight against COVID-19. Specifically, the letter urges the Governor to collaborate with Cuba to take advantage and learn from their medical and scientific success in dealing with COVID-19 and the United States’ ever-surging pandemic.
“Shortly before our adjournment Sine Die at the end of May, I authored S.F. 4619, a resolution urging Gov. Walz reach to out to Cuba to help Minnesota deal with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Sen. Pappas said. “The companion bill, H.F. 4690, was introduced in the House by Representative John Lesch.”
Cuba has virtually conquered COVID-19 and, as of July 6, with a population of 11.3 million people, had tallied a cumulative death toll of only 86 and a total number of cases of 2,380. The resolution further points out that, by the end of April, 50 countries had requested help from Cuba to combat the virus, with the hard-hit province of Lombardy in Italy among the first to receive the aid. More than 80 countries have also requested assistance with Cuba’s pharmaceuticals with 37 Cuban medical brigades currently serving in 30 countries fighting COVID-19.
“Our resolution recognizes that Cuba has a long history of providing medical aid to other countries during Ebola, swine flu, dengue and other epidemics where it has sent its specially trained Henry Reeve brigades, often at no cost, to many of the world’s poorest nations,” Sen. Pappas said. “Cuba has had great success with its research into COVID-19 treatments. Unfortunately, these drugs are not yet available here due to the US embargo, although clinical trials are going on in other countries that could make them available in the US at some point.”
Sen. Pappas is hopeful this letter and information contained in the resolution will start a conversation and lead to the Walz Administration reaching out to Cuba for medical assistance and scientific data to help our state combat the coronavirus.