Rep. Erhardt Apologizes For Bird Flu “Doctor” Act

Rep. Ron Erhardt (DFL-Edina) has apologized after appearing on the Minnesota House floor Tuesday afternoon wearing a lab coat and a stethoscope and insinuating the flu he experienced this weekend could have come from the bird flu epidemic that has hit Minnesota turkey farms. The Minnesota Department of Health says turkey is safe to eat.

While he was making the speech, is not apparent to House members if he is making a joke or is serious.

Several members interrupt Erhardt and he is met with bi-partisan push back. The Minnesota Department of Health has said there is no threat to humans and legislators from Erhardt’s DFL party and Republicans have cooperated on legislation to fight the bird flu.

Apparently to stop Erhardt from speaking, the House adjourned.

Later Erhardt issued an apology.

“I rose to the floor today to talk about the potential public health issues related to the avian flu crisis.

I have met with officials from the Minnesota Department of Health to ask questions and better understand this issue. I am confident in their work, and assessment that consuming turkey is safe for Minnesotans.

I apologize for making light of this serious issue and I support immediate passage of legislation that will adequately fund a response to the avian flu crisis.”

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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