Whoops! MN State Senator Thinks COVID-19 is Virus’s 19th Strain
According to Minnesota State Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, this is the 19th strain of the "novel" virus.
On Monday, KARE 11 political reporter John Croman revealed on Twitter that a certain Minnesota state senator believed that COVID-19 is named after the number strain (19th) and not the year it was discovered.
Responding to tweets wondering who the unnamed senator was, Croman revealed that is was former Secretary of State of Minnesota and current Republican State Senator Mary Kiffmeyer.
He included a video clip of Kiffmeyer speaking on the floor.
"Emergencies aren't, like, a surprise in the State of Minnesota," Senator Kiffmeyer says in the video. "Oh my gosh, all of a sudden we have a surprise! No, this is a big one. It's a novel coronavirus 19 -- it's the 19th coronavirus strain, and it is a new strain."
Despite what the good Senator may think, COVID-19 is not, in fact, named after a 19th strain of coronavirus. The CDC explains where the named COVID-19 came from at its website:
On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV.
Senator Kiffmeyer isn't the only one to misreport on COVID-19, however; in April 2020 White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also suggested that the 19 in "COVID-19" meant this was the 19th strain.
"This is COVID-19, not COVID-1, folks," the Boston Globe quotes her as saying. “You would think that people charged with the World Health Organization facts and figures would be on top of that.”
While this month marks one full year since COVID-19 hit Minnesota and upset our lives, some of us -- apparently -- need a refresher on things. Here's a palatable 50-second video from the CDC to help job Senator Kiffmeyer's memory.