Coronavirus in one state (59)

Even though the emergency raised by the COVID-19 epidemic has long since dissipated, assuming it ever existed, Governor Walz continues to exercise dictatorial emergency powers. He enjoys turning the dials of our lives. To the extent that a crisis exists, it is a nursing home crisis. However, I have yet to see a serious analysis of excess deaths even in that setting.

Yesterday the Minnesota Department of Health reported six new death attributed to COVID-19. Four of these six new deaths occurred among residents of long-term care facilities. All were in their 60’s or older. Hospitalization/ICU usage continue to decline. Of the 1,304 total deaths attributed to the epidemic so far, 1,034 have occurred among LTC residents. That comes to 79.3 percent of the total.

The Minnesota Department of Health continues to exclude me from its daily press briefings. I have embedded the audio of yesterday’s press briefing below. One of the questions addressed our wacky super fine-tuned Minnesota model on which Walz predicated his original shutdown announcement of March 25. The model is now in version 3.0, but it’s still a joke.

Kevin Roche’s comment on version 3.0 in “Happy screwed up model day” engages with Commissioner Malcolm’s tentative defense of it in her response to the question posed yesterday. For some reason or other, Malcolm keeps a socially- distanced six-foot separation between the model and Walz’s edicts.

Kevin commented specifically here on yesterday’s briefing. I have tried to maintain my cool in my commentary here, but Kevin lets it all hang out:

[H]ere are the lies (I am tired of sugarcoating the “messaging” coming from the State) spread by the agents of Dictator Walz (it is also time to refer to him by his correct title) at the daily coronavirus briefing. These lies are the same as they previously used, so they clearly think they can keep fooling the citizenry. They tried to claim that the Minnesota epidemic model isn’t that far off. Let’s be honest, almost every parameter in the model is wrong, so the output is bound to be wrong and it is. It isn’t even close on the lower bound of uncertainty, much less the central estimate. The scenario that comes closest is the most extreme set of mitigation measures, which we aren’t doing. The Administration just keeps failing to own up to the failure of the model, a model they highlighted constantly as the basis for decision-making.

They gave more BS about Wisconsin, claiming at times things looked worse in Wisconsin and at times in Minnesota. Wisconsin hasn’t been close to Minnesota since the first couple of weeks of the epidemic. They also said well, some localities still had lockdowns. I have looked at the mobility data, and Wisconsin’s began swinging up right after the order and until very recently, as Minnesotans have started voting with their feet, they stayed significantly ahead of comparable numbers in Minnesota. And once again, we get the science is different in Wisconsin, because they have seasonality that limited the epidemic from the start, but there is apparently not any seasonality in Minnesota.

And again we got the run-around about the Dictator’s use of emergency [powers] and how he is consulting with the legislature. He isn’t and he hasn’t. He talks to a few people who tell him exactly what he wants to hear. And the spokespeople had no answer for why the same approach is being used across the whole state. I want to take a shower and vomit to get the sleaze off and out every time I listen to one of these briefings.

You can listen in yourself in the audio below.

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