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"This racism that exists - it translates into different numbers for our fellow Minnesotans"

Matthew Henry/Burst

Efforts to remedy one of the banes of 2020 fell victim to another one in Minnesota this month.

Public health workers, driving marked vehicles and wearing vests and identification,were tasked by the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health to conduct Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) surveys this month.

But the CDC pulled the survey crews out of Minnesota after a series of incidents involving racist remarks and intimidation.

"Unfortunately - really, really unfortunately - the public health workers, while going door-to-door to get this information and offer free testing that's hard to get because of low supplies in the state - were subjected to racial slurs and intimidation.  Intimidation puts it mildly; people were threatened.  It gives me goosebumps."

Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine McCarty says the information the survey crews were collecting was information doctors and researchers really need to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Lisa Johnson started her broadcast career anchoring the television news at her high school and spinning country music at KWWK/KOLM Radio in Rochester, Minnesota. She was a reporter and news anchor at KTHI in Fargo, ND (not to mention the host of a children's program called "Lisa's Lane") and a radio reporter and anchor in Moorhead, Bismarck, Wahpeton and Fergus Falls.Since 1991, she has hosted Northland Morning on KUMD. One of the best parts of her job includes "paying it forward" by mentoring upcoming journalists and broadcasters on the student news team that helps produce Northland Morning. She also loves introducing the different people she meets in her job to one another, helping to forge new "community connections" and partnerships.Lisa has amassed a book collection weighing over two tons, and she enjoys reading, photography, volunteering with Animal Allies Humane Society and fantasizing about farmland. She goes to bed at 8pm, long before her daughter, two cats, or three dogs.
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