Two Emmer campaign staffers test positive for COVID-19

    Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN)
    U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer. File photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images.

    A pair of campaign workers for U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer tested positive for COVID-19, a campaign spokesperson told the Star Tribune on Monday. 

    The staffers, who are not in leadership roles, have been in quarantine since early last week after displaying symptoms, said spokesman Zach Freimark.

    When asked about the coronavirus cases, Emmer’s office referred the Reformer to Freimark’s statement to the Star Tribune.

    The announcement comes nearly two weeks after Emmer and Reps. Pete Stauber and Jim Hagedorn flew to Minnesota on Air Force Onewith President Donald Trump just a day or so before the president announced that he tested positive for the coronavirus. 

    Emmer tested negative at the end of that week and has not been in contact with the “junior staffers” for at least a month, Freimark said. 

    “Everyone is masked up when they’re in the office for the most part,” he said.

    The virus continues to be politically charged, as Democrats allege Republicans have failed to protect the public, while Republicans say Democrats are exaggerating its dangers to hurt Trump. 

    Though Freimark said the cases are not linked to Trump’s visit, recent presidential rallies in Minnesota have been linked to COVID cases. 

    Trump’s rallies in Duluth and Bemidji in late September have been linked to at least 15 positive test results, the Pioneer Press reported. An event for  Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden also led to a positive test result

    Emmer is up for reelection against Democrat Tawnja Zahradka in what is thought to be a safe Republican district. 

    Emmer is also chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is the outfit tasked with helping Republicans take back the U.S. House.  

    The state reached a record high of active confirmed COVID-19 cases Tuesday. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, more than 114,500 Minnesotans have tested positive for COVID-19, and 2,151 have died of the virus.

    Dylan Miettinen
    Dylan Miettinen is a Reformer intern. A fourth-year student at the University of Minnesota, he was born and raised in Omaha, Neb. He currently serves as the editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, the Minnesota Daily. He's also worked for CNN, the Minnesota Media and Publishing Association and the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast.