FairVote MN to host: “Tale of Two Crises: Political Polarization and COVID-19 with Dr. Michael Osterholm and Andy Slavitt”

Published on September 29, 2020

FairVote Minnesota Hosts a Conversation with Dr. Michael Osterholm and Andy Slavitt

Contact: Jeanne Massey, FairVote Minnesota Executive Director, jeanne.massey@fairvotemn.org, 612-850-6897

St. Paul (September 28, 2020) —  FairVote Minnesota (“FVMN”) today announced a virtual conversation with two of our nation’s leading health experts, Dr. Michael Osterholm and Andy Slavitt, moderated by Representative Dr. Kelly Morrison: Tale of Two Crises: COVID-19 & Political Polarization. Dr. Osterholm is Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota. He served as a Science Envoy for Health Security on behalf of the US Department of State, and has served multiple administrations on public health preparedness – both Republican and Democratic.

Tale of Two Crises

Andy Slavitt is founder and chairman of United States of Care, a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to ensuring Americans have access to quality, affordable health care and is a senior partner in Town Hall Health Ventures, which invests in businesses working in underserved areas of health care. From 2015-2017, Slavitt served as Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

These national health experts will discuss how polarization, politics and leadership failures have hindered our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how we can strengthen our governing institutions so that we can be better prepared in the future. Ranked Choice Voting is among the top reforms they will highlight to break through the political dysfunction and ensure more responsive and effective governance.

“Never have we needed good government more than we need it right now,” Dr. Osterholm declared this summer. “I can say with all sincerity and having served under two Republican governors, two Democratic governors and one Independent governor, and having served roles in the last five Presidential administrations, that for those of us that believe in good government – it’s not about partisan politics; it’s not about party; it’s about electing the very best people to serve.” He added, “Ranked Choice Voting is the legacy of my lifetime, and that’s why I support it so much.”

“The polarized system we have right now is undermining our response to the pandemic and a whole host of issues,” explained FairVote Minnesota’s Executive Director Jeanne Massey. “But it doesn’t have to be this way. Ranked Choice Voting encourages leaders to respond to the interests of a majority of voters, to collaborate and work together to get things done. It elevates effectiveness over partisanship, and the interests of the majority over base politics.”

The panel will also discuss Slavitt’s upcoming book, Preventable: The Inside Story of How Leadership Failures, Politics, and Selfishness Doomed the U.S. Coronavirus Response. The book chronicles the political and leadership failings of the current crisis but also offers solutions so that we are stronger and better prepared for the next one.

FVMN will present the webinar on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm CT. While the event is ticketed, frontline workers are invited to attend free of charge. Register at fairvotemn.org/RSVP.

Osterholm, Slavitt, and Morrison will be joined by co-hosts Dr. Macaran Baird, Dr. Aleta Borrud, Marnie Wells & Dr. Ralph Bovard, Drs. Margit Bretzke & Jeff Hanson, Drs. Lynn Broaddus & Marc Gorelick, Patricia Benn & Ned Crosby, Maria Christu & Kevin Staunton, Gail Dorfman, Jim Dorsey, Phillip L. Edwardson, M.D. & Sandra R. Edwardson, Ph.D., RN, Karla Ekdahl & Peter Hutchinson, Penny & Bill George, Dr. Paul Goering, Drs. Maureen Reed & Jim Hart, Robin Hartwell & John Hunsicker, Jennifer & Paul Hovelsrud, Karen & Eric Kaler, Courtney & RB Kiernat, Nancy & Pete Killilea, Dr. Tom Knabel & Kent Allin, Donna McCormick, Kim Nelson, Susan & David Plimpton, Vanessa Laird & Timothy Raylor, Dr. Kirk & Lisa Rodysill, Rebecca Skoler, Cindy & Jack Uldrich, Stephen Venable, Dr. Annie Portilla & Jim Watkins.

Media are welcome and should email kristen@fairvotemn.org to receive the Zoom link.

Please contact Jeanne Massey for more information about Ranked Choice Voting and our other electoral reform efforts in Minnesota.


550 Vandalia St. #210

St. Paul, MN 55114

(763) 807-2550


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