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Morning Hot Dish

Walz to Trump, Biden: 'Mask up'

By Stephen Montemayor
 
Good morning. Gov. Tim Walz is urging the campaigns of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden to follow the state's COVID-19 safety guidelines on crowds, masks and social distancing when they make their respective campaign stops Friday in Minnesota.  
 
NEW POLL: A Washington Post-ABC News poll places Biden ahead of Trump 57-41 in Minnesota in the latest recent poll showing an advantage for the Democratic nominee in a state that Trump and Republicans have vowed to make competitive this year. The same poll gives Biden a 6-point advantage in neighboring Wisconsin.
 
Despite a strong undercurrent of skepticism across the country, the federal government is outlining a sweeping plan to make COVID-19 vaccines available for free to all Americans. The Minnesota Department of Health is meanwhile seeking volunteers for free COVID-19 diagnostic and antibody testing to assess the actual spread of the pandemic.  
 
The president participated in a televised town hall with uncommitted voters in which he insisted the novel coronavirus would disappear without a vaccine while also denying that he had downplayed the threat of the virus earlier this year despite Bob Woodward's audio recording showing that the president did just that.
 
The president, who recently spoke with the Big Ten commissioner by phone, is hailing the return of football just announced for next month. Trump: "It is my great honor to have helped!!!"
 
Briana Bierschbach and photographer Glen Stubbe spent some time in Minnesota’s rural First Congressional District where the race between U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, R-Minn., and Democratic challenger Dan Feehan has become a microcosm of the broader 2020 election, where anxiety over the pandemic and ongoing civil unrest across the country have ratcheted up the stakes for voters. Hagedorn, a first-term Republican in Congress, is facing a closely watched rematch against Feehan, who came within 1,300 votes of winning two years ago.  
 
AD WARS: The Democratic National Committee’s DNC War Room is out with a new six-figure television ad buy in Minnesota today that points to Trump’s recorded statements that he downplayed the gravity of COVID-19 earlier this year. Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC endorsed by House Republican Leadership, has a new ad assailing U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., for his support of Biden and Nancy Pelosi.  
 
MISSING ANYTHING? Put me on your mailing list: smontemayor@startribune.com.
 
WHERE'S WALZ: The governor will be at Albert Lea High School this morning to visit outdoor classes and discuss the school’s hybrid learning model. Later, Walz visits Byron Primary School to greet students outside after school as they board school buses home.
 
SAD NEWS: Katherine Bensen, former U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan's daughter, has died at 46 after a battle with non-smoking lung cancer that began in 2015.  
 

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 Thanks for reading! Have a great day. Write us: hotdish@startribune.com.
 
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