Minnesota governor defends health commissioner as potential ousting looms 

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Gov. Tim Walz of Minnesota is standing firmly behind his health commissioner, Jan Malcolm, while Minnesota Senate Republicans are considering ousting her, Kare 11 reported Oct. 26.

"I've never wavered once," Mr. Walz said at a press conference Oct. 26. "I still am every day gaining more admiration and awe of the work the commissioner has to do. And we'll just need to continue to do our work."

Ms. Malcolm has served under three different governors and led the state through COVID-19. Senate Republicans are unhappy that Mr. Walz's administration shut down schools and businesses during the height of the pandemic. 

Sen. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka, has called for Ms. Malcolm's departure, stating that she has been a cheerleader for vaccines but hasn't done enough to warn people of the side effects. Mr. Walz could do nothing to stop it if Minnesota Senate Republicans decide to bring up a vote for confirmation for Ms. Malcolm in the upcoming session in February, and they declined to assure him they wouldn't oust her during a special session before then. 

Mr. Walz said that right now would be the worst time for Ms. Malcolm to be ousted because she's dealing with the logistics and supply chain issues of preparing to vaccinate children 5-11 years old. 

"Our ordering and procurement of hundreds of thousands of these doses to literally 1,500 locations across Minnesota. Different needles, getting out the different information to give to people. All of those things — that's the job that's being managed by Jan Malcolm," Mr. Waltz said.

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