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2020 Pushed Minnesota Toward the Third World

2020 Pushed Minnesota Toward the Third World


Minnesota has quickly become a case study for the disastrous effects of the Covid response, including how government programs facilitated brazen fraud, how criminals use tribalism to deflect accountability, and how Americans are now poorer and less safe than five years ago.

The DOJ has charged 70 defendants in a fraud scheme in which the perpetrators allegedly stole $250 million from Covid relief funds. While the defendants were supposed to use the money to serve meals to children, prosecutors allege that they created fake invoices for meals and then laundered the money through shell companies, passport frauds, and illegal kickbacks. 

On Tuesday, a juror in the case was dismissed after she revealed that someone offered a bag of $120,000 in cash in exchange for a vote for acquittal. “There’s another bag for her if she votes to acquit,” the offeror allegedly said

Nearly all of the defendants are Somalian, as was the woman who offered the cash to the juror. Their lawyers now seek to exploit diversity politics in their defense strategy.

Paul Martin Vaaler served as an expert witness on “diaspora businesses” for the defendants. Vaaler testified that the payments reflect immigrants’ “preference for doing [business] outside the gaze of the government.”

Vaaler used this reasoning to support the Defendants’ poor bookkeeping and excessive cash transfers. Vaaler said the millions of dollars transferred back to Somalia could be considered “remittances.” “It’s the best foreign aid in the world because it doesn’t go through government,” Vaaler testified.

Now, the Minnesota courtroom risks spiraling into a Somalian judicial system – a country with the worst corruption in the world according to Transparency International – with cash bribes and juror intimidation. 

This institutional unraveling is the direct result of the government’s Covid response. Minnesota, led by Governor Tim Walz, was at the forefront of Covid lockdowns. The state of emergency declared on March 13, 2020 did not end until July 1, 2021. In those fifteen months, Governor Walz shut down schools, jailed dissidents, and closed businesses. His actions spawned the relief efforts that resulted in widespread fraud. 

Beginning in May 2020, Minnesota was also ground zero for the George Floyd riots. Just three miles away from the federal courthouse hosting the Covid fraud trial, rioters set fire to Minneapois’s Third Precinct police building. Looters robbed the evidence room, and thousands celebrated as the building burned after the mayor ordered the police inside to flee. 

Last week, the city purchased land to rebuild the third precinct for $10 million. As Minneapolis led the charge to “defund the police,” crime skyrocketed. Murder increased by 58%, arson increased by 54%, robberies increased by 26%, and aggravated assault increased by 25%. 

Minnesotans’ quality of life declined across the board. A 2022 study found that Minnesota’s government policy responses to Covid-19 cost each family of four nearly $7,500 in lost GDP by the end of the first quarter of 2021. Fewer than half of Minnesota students are proficient in math and reading, and test scores are still 10 percentage points below pre-pandemic levels.  

From the rubble of the third precinct to the steps of the federal courthouse, the three-mile strip of downtown Minneapolis represents the Covid response’s assault on Western civilization; how arbitrary and capricious orders spawned widespread corruption and impoverished the citizenry. 

When government takes on core tenets of civilized life, such as the right to associate, and presumes the right to manage the whole of private and public life including all civic institutions, under whatever excuse, what you end up with is something other than civilized life. Minnesota is just one case in point but the same afflicts many other places in the country and world, as the fallout from the disaster cascades through our lives.

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