Over the past three days, fatalities attributed to COVID-19 have fallen to four (8/29, four in long-term care facilities), two (8/30, one in LTC), and one (8/31, in LTC). Hospitalizations remain at a virtually indetectable level. Yet the regular Department of Health press briefing (audio below) reached new depths of sorrow, threat, and panic presented by the commissioner of the mournful countenance.
According to the authorities, new cases are increasing at an unacceptable rate. Minnesotans are having fun in an unapproved fashion. We had better fall into line or else. The Ratched effect is audible.
In the last question, MPR’s Tim Nelson asks how the low fatality and hospitalization numbers square with the new case numbers. As we are always instructed, deaths and hospitalizations are “a lagging indicator.” Commissioner Malcolm has been saying this for quite a while. The lag goes on.
And we are not allowed to forget the Sturgis apocalypse. Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann announced that they now attribute some 49 cases and two hospitalizations to Sturgis. That leaves us a few hundred short of the number of cases attributed to the approved protests and facilitated riots in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day.
Over the weekend the New York Times published an important story on the issue of testing positivity. Not a single question addressed it at the briefing. If we rely on the likes of Commissioner Malcolm and, say, the Star Tribune’s Jeremy Olson, we may never learn whether the issue has any bearing on the Minnesota test results.
Olson was on hand at the briefing. He predictably amplifies Malcolm’s threats in “Minnesota crosses troubling COVID-19 thresholds.” Subhead: “New cases now exceed U.S. average; crackdown on gatherings urged.”
Kevin Roche has been on fire in his commentary on the epidemic over the past week. Review his recent posts at The Healthy Skeptic. Compare and contrast Olson’s story with Kevin’s post “An Epidemic of Misrepresentations, Shaming, Blackmail, Terrorization & Lack of Transparency.”
Over the weekend news stories highlighted CDC data on Americans who have died from COVID-19 with underlying medical conditions. According to the report, only six percent of deaths have COVID-19 as the only cause mentioned. Ninety-four percent of those whose deaths are attributed to COVID-19 also had underlying health conditions.
This report comports with Minnesota data discussed earlier in this series pegging the number at 98 percent. Press briefings such as the one below waste the opportunity to highlight the conditions and warn those who suffer from them to protect themselves.