Thumbs down to the apparent pervasiveness in outstate Minnesota of the delusions that the 2020 election was stolen and that there was no insurrection on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol — and to the Republican leaders who feed and enable “the Big Lie.”

The Minnesota Poll — conducted on behalf of the Star Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio, KARE 11 and PBS’ FRONTLINE — found in results reported this week that outside Hennepin and Ramsey counties, almost half the registered voters polled believe Donald Trump legitimately won the election. And statewide, 42 percent of the respondents think the riot that disrupted the certification of the electoral votes was a legitimate rally.

Both beliefs are false and have been repeatedly proven false. But Trump’s supporters continue to be fed this nonsense by the likes of “My Pillow” CEO Mike Lindell, gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen — and, yes, southern Minnesota’s U.S. representatives, Jim Hagedorn and Michelle Fischbach.

They continue to deliberately damage American democracy.

Pushing more vaccinations

Thumbs up to the reports out of Mankato’s two public higher education institutions that their faculty and staff vaccination rates have topped 90%.

It is, in truth, unfortunate that it took an effective mandate to get to 90% at Minnesota State and South Central College. We expected better of the educated people at those colleges. They should not have had to be forced to take such a simple step to protect themselves and their community.

But that is true not only here but across the country. The major employers that have set similar vaccination standards are also seeing elevated vax rates.

The FDA and CDC panels that this week discussed the Biden administration’s booster shot plan agree: Boosters aren’t a COVID solution. A wider vaccination rate is. We need that 90%-and-up rate, not the under 70% rate we have now.

Had the general population gotten inoculated at such a rate in the spring and summer, it is doubtful that the delta variant of the coronavirus would have gotten such a deadly foothold in this nation in general and Minnesota in particular.

Disturbing uptick

Thumbs down to Minnesota’s increasing obesity rate.

Although the uptick from 2019 to 2020 is only 0.6% as it grew from 30.1% to 30.7%, that’s not the right direction for such a serious health threat.

Now more than ever, risk factors are important to be aware of when it comes to maintaining good health. The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified that issue because certain conditions have often resulted in more serious cases of illness when people catch the virus.

Such is the case when it comes to obesity. Already a major concern before the virus with its contribution to myriad serious chronic conditions, obesity must stay on the radar as an epidemic in itself.

Preventing and treating obesity in young people will be key to keeping them healthy all of their lives.

Military honors

Thumbs up to the veterans groups and others who are gathering stories of local veterans and establishing memorial events for families.

North Mankato American Legion Post 518 has been conducting “Vet of the Month” ceremonies since 2008 where a veteran is honored, and a flag dedicated to that veteran is flown then given to the family.

Visit Mankato tourism center is hoping to promote the history of local veterans into a computer application and website. Already, the group has recorded 14 sites around the area where people may pay homage to area military veterans. The group hopes to add stories of veterans via mobile apps or videos.

Kudos to Post 418 for their efforts of the past 13 years. Their continued efforts to honor veterans may lead to an expanded library of local veterans that will make it easy for families and the community to honor.

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