Minnesota GOP leader urged to resign after failing to inform Democrats of COVID-19 outbreak at statehouse
Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (Image via YouTube).

The top Republican in the Minnesota Senate is facing calls to step down over his mishandling of a coronavirus outbreak.


Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, and the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party called for him to resign from his leadership post, reported the Star Tribune.

“[Republican caucus members] engaged in high-risk behaviors," said DFL Senate Leader Susan Kent. "[Gazelka] misled Minnesotans about their actions and they have made excuses instead of being accountable.”

Kent said GOP gatherings led to the outbreak, and she complained that Gazelka had not notified the DFL members or nonpartisan staff about the positive tests among GOP senators.

Gazelka said he has not experienced any symptoms, and his wife has tested negative.

The couple had traveled to Florida and have stayed there since Nov. 9.

Republicans held a large dinner party with more than 100 attendees Nov. 5 at an arena event center, and at least two GOP senators have tested positive, along with some staff members.

A memo about the positive test results was not shared with Senate DFL members, and Gazelka later admitted lawmakers had not notified the event center about the outbreak days later.