In May of 2020 Duluth, Minnesota Mayor Emily Larson caused quite the stir in the veteran community. Her administration, citing the dangers of the Corona Virus, decided to cancel the city’s annual Memorial Day parade. The problem was that just a week prior, the Duluth Police Department was able to have their own parade, complete with officers from across the state participating. It seemed that Corona Virus was too dangerous for the public to hold events, but the city can do what it pleases. It seems that Mayor Larson still has a “rules for thee but not for me” attitude after a photo surfaced on social media.
Beginning in July, the Duluth City Council passed a mask mandate requiring residents to wear a mask out in public to prevent the spread of the Corona Virus. Shortly after Mayor Larson signed the ordinance, governor Tim Walz signed an executive order requiring masks and social distancing across the state. The mask mandate requires masks to be worn outdoor in situations where social distancing is not possible. After signing her own ordinance requiring masks, one would assume mayor Larson would support the state mandate. Think again.
Over the last several weeks, a tall ship from Russia named the Pilgrim has been docked behind Duluth’s DECC and was available for free tours. Built in Duluth’s “sister city” the ship is a tourist attraction while it is here. This week a photo surfaced of Mayor Larson visiting the ship and mingling with its crew. The only problem, is that there was not a mask in sight and no social distancing precautions were taken. Why is it that yet again, while the rules apply to the masses, Mayor Larson just does whatever she pleases? Tall ships are big but they’re not that big and social distancing is impossible onboard. Mayor Larson, her friend, and the entire crew of the Pilgrim should have been wearing a mask, but they weren’t.
This kind of hypocrisy is unacceptable. Mayor Larson has shown time and time again that the rules do not apply to her or her preferred projects. This is not the kind of leadership Americans deserve to live under. When the rules apply to the citizens but not the officials, that is not freedom but tyranny. This is the kind of action that Veterans United for Freedom stands against. While we call out the hypocrisy of Mayor Larson, please join in on September 11th for a Back the Blue rally at the Duluth American Legion. Let’s show Mayor Larson that we can have events and be safe from Corona Virus, and that it’s not just our benevolent leaders that can stop the spread of COVID-19 while having events and celebrations.