We are lost in a fog conveyed by the authorities and spread by the media. They have made it virtually impossible to understand the nature of the risks posed by COVID-19 to ordinary Minnesotans. Apart from the aged and the infirm, or the infirm aged, the epidemic poses a low-risk health hazard that cannot properly serve as the predicate of one-man rule.
How bad is the fog? The Star Tribune’s Jessie Van Berkel posits a dip in Governor Walz’s approval rating to 57 percent — high under the circumstances — to an “increase” in “COVID-19 concerns.” It doesn’t even occur to the chowderheads at the Star Tribune that the dip might result from a rise in the disapproval of Walz’s edicts themselves — after all, they have done their best to support them. (I don’t see support for either interpretation from the questions posed in the poll.)
Over the past three days the authorities have attributed 10 new deaths (9/26, six among residents of long-term care facilities), four new deaths (9/27, one LTC), and 7 new deaths (two LTC) to the epidemic. Fatalities among long-term care facility residents account for 71.8 percent of all such deaths. The median age of decedents remains 83.
To sustain the panic the state now rides new cases. Testing is up hugely, so new cases are up as well. The median age of these new cases continues at 35. Kevin Roche has posted valuable thoughts on “Where we are with cases.”
If I read the current hospitalization data correctly at the MDH Situation Update for COVID-19, yesterday’s numbers reflect two new ICU admissions and five new hospitalizations. I don’t believe the Department of Health authorities even bothered to refer to these numbers in their briefing yesterday (audio below).
I regularly reported the current hospitalization/ICU data provided by MDH in this series, but the state now withholds it. I thought the current hospitalization data reflected the state of the epidemic and its impact on hospital capacity.
For reasons I do not understand MDH has changed out those numbers for a daily report on new admissions and cumulative totals since the onset of the epidemic in March. State senator (Dr.) Scott Jensen has posted state representative Jeremy Munson’s critique of what MDH has done here on Facebook. Munson’s critique concludes: “Reporting cumulative cases and hospitalizations since the dawn of time creates a false narrative and shows a number that will never be reduced. Walz’s Department of Health should reverse this decision immediately and stop pulling the wool, nay facemask over our eyes.”
One or two reporters sought comments on Eitzen Mayor Jeffrey Adamson’s denial of the race-based mistreatment of CDC workers alleged by MDH and the CDC last week. Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff was unable to add a single fact to support the allegations he retailed at Friday’s briefing. At about 29:00 of the audio, Huff stated that the CDC workers’ “concerns were concerning” [sic] and reiterated his Stuart Smalley routine. Mayor Adamson prevails but the fog persists.