Coronavirus in one state (49)

Governor Tim Walz called a press conference yesterday afternoon to announce his limited stand down on religious worship. I have posted the video from the governor’s YouTube channel below. Walz takes the lectern at about 3:00.

Walz is a force to contend with. He played a losing hand here to maximum effect and then smothered the resolution in a torrent of verbiage. No one is going to outtalk this guy. Note that not a single question yesterday addressed the nursing home crisis.

Walz concluded the press conference with Rabbi Roland Gittelsohn’s Iwo Jima eulogy. Putting the velocity of his spoken words to one side, I think Walz has a striking ability to impersonate an average Minnesotan. Walz holds himself out as major general, spiritual leader, statesman, and teacher. Not having observed him much before he invoked his emergency powers in March, I have come to see him as a highly persuasive huckster. It would be easy to underestimate him, but he is an effective politician.

According to the latest Star Tribune poll (results here), the public stands behind Walz’s strictures and prescriptions. As I see it, the Star Tribune has made itself an important supporter of the the governor’s campaign of fear. For a look behind the disease data, readers may want to check out Kevin Roche’s “Weekend Screed About the Insanity of the Current Policies.”

In the data released yesterday, the authorities attributed 10 new deaths to COVID-19, bringing the total to 852. Eight of the 10 deaths occurred among residents of long-term care facilities; one occurred in a group home setting. The Minnesota Department of Health places the total of deaths among residents of long-term care/assisted living facilities at 697, a hair short of 82 percent of all deaths attributed to the disease. The age breakdown of the ten new decedents indicates that three were in their 90’s, three were in their 80’s, two were in their 60’s, and two in their 50’s.