The beat goes on in. The authorities attributed six new deaths to COVID-19 yesterday. Two of the new decedents were in their 90’s, two in their 80’s, one in his 70’s, and one in his 20’s (“with significant underlying conditions”). A total of 312 hospitalizations are attributed to the epidemic, with 151 of these in intensive care. The median age of decedents is 83. The daily total of new cases total was 779 on high testing volume.
We remain subjects of one-man rule by Governor Walz. Resistance has emerged in Itasca County, where a total of 125 cases have been attributed to the epidemic:
The organizers of a rodeo in the tiny northern Minnesota town of Effie are facing state punishment after disregarding warnings not to hold the event in violation of an executive order restricting the size of public gatherings. It’s the first time the state has brought an enforcement action against an entertainment venue that has operated “in open defiance of the law,” Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a news release.
Meanwhile, at least one person who attended the rodeo has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.
Ellison on Friday filed a complaint in Itasca County District Court against North Star Ranch for alleged violations of Gov. Tim Walz’s executive order limiting attendance at public events during the pandemic.
The ranch and its owner, Cimarron Pitzen, could face a fine of up to $25,000 for each violation of the order and be forced to give up any money collected at the event, as well as pay costs and attorney fees.
Pitzen, whose family has staged the rodeo since 1955, did not answer his phone Friday. The voice mail greeting on his answering machine said it was turned off.
Ellison’s complaint alleges that Pitzen became angry after state officials told him he’d have to limit attendance at the event, billed as the largest outdoor rodeo in the state.
Read the whole thing here. A reader writes from adjacent St. Louis County:
As a physician in northern Minnesota, I have kept close watch as COVID has spread in much of the metro and western counties with certain meat packing facilities yet has to a great degree spared much of sparsely populated northern Minnesota. What I find infuriating is Keith Ellison’s double standard when it comes to compliance with government restrictions.
Itasca County has had a grand total of 125 cases of COVID in all of 2020. Yet one… ONE rodeo attendee tests positive and the Minnesota Attorney General drops a civil lawsuit on the ranch which held the rodeo and allowed demonstrators to attend.
Yet in the Twin Cities metro there have been a multitude of events, protests, and marches where attendees were not required to wear masks or perform any kind of social distancing and Hennepin County alone has subsequently had 200-plus cases almost EVERY DAY in July and there has not been one word of criticism from the Attorney General or Governor or Health Commissioner directed towards any organizer in the metro.
Clearly, the laws and rules do not apply in the liberal metropolitan areas but if you live in conservative rural Minnesota and don’t follow the rules, the liberal urban overlords will single you out for punishment and try to crush you.
We will see if any further cases develop from the rodeo but there is no way there will be 200-plus cases per day as we have see following days and days of protests in Minneapolis.
And of course we have the obligatory postscript in the era of one-man rule: “Please keep my name anonymous as the liberal overlords at my employer would likely sever my tongue for speaking out against the liberal state government overlords.”
The applicable executive order — number 81 of 2020 — was promulgated on July 22. I can’t think of any events in the Twin Cities like the rodeo, but our reader’s points are nevertheless well taken. Minnesota business throughout the state live at the mercy of former Nation of Islam hustler Keith Ellison. It’s not Ellison’s first rodeo and it won’t be his last. I will add that all is proceeding as we foresaw in my question to Pulitzer Prize-winning Star Tribune health care reporter Jeremy Olson.
I have embedded yesterday’s Department of Health press briefing below. The consonance of the reporters with the party line is most discouraging.