The Potluck

GOP candidate for governor, physician Scott Jensen speaking with anti-vaccine group founded by doctor charged in Jan. 6 Capitol attack

By: - July 20, 2021 12:54 pm

State Sen. Scott Jensen, R-Chaska, has given voice to claims some medical experts say are conspiracy theories. He appeared on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” on Wednesday, April 8, 2020.

GOP candidate for governor Scott Jensen is slated to participate in a virtual event with a group that strongly questions COVID-19 vaccine safety and effectiveness and was founded by a doctor arrested for storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Simone Gold, a physician who founded America’s Frontline Doctors, tweeted on Monday that Jensen is among speakers for a July 27 livestream hosted by her group. 

“Don’t miss the critical information you need to navigate the deception and confusion of the Chinese Coronavirus lockdowns and the derelict public health response,” an event flyer says. “Content will include brilliant and ethical doctors speaking truthfully and delivering the verified science and data.”

Gold in January was charged with illegally entering a restricted building or grounds, as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct for her role in the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. 

She told the Washington Post that she regretted being there, saying it distracted from her advocacy work against pandemic public health restrictions. 

Jensen, a family physician who served one term in the Minnesota Senate, has come under fire for his continued questioning of the effectiveness of vaccines. He is also a staunch supporter of using hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment for COVID-19, despite the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning it should not be used outside of hospital settings because it could cause heart rhythm problems.

Jensen did not immediately return messages Tuesday. 

Since leaving the Minnesota Senate, the former Chaska lawmaker has announced he would challenge DFL Gov. Tim Walz for governor, making the governor’s handling of the pandemic his main issue. 

He also signed onto a lawsuit seeking to ban use of COVID-19 vaccines in children ages 12-15.

Jensen is the sole major candidate on the Republican side thus far, but others are also considering running, including Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, and state Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake. 

Jensen has lately been pushing back against health advisories warning people against the highly transmissible delta variant. 

“Everything I read indicates that the severity of this syndrome is less than the original COVID-19,” Jensen said on the Point of View with Chris Berg podcast published Monday. “This is like a cold. This is runny nose, low grade fever, sore throat.”

Medical professionals are warning against the delta variant, which now accounts for 83% of sequenced COVID-19 cases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday during a U.S. Senate hearing. 

Virtually all COVID-19 hospitalizations are occurring among people who are unvaccinated, health officials say. Ninety-seven percent of new hospitalizations are among people who have not been vaccinated against the virus, Walensky said recently.

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Ricardo Lopez
Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.

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