Coronavirus in one state (99)

Since the Department of Health held its third press briefing of last week this past Thursday, the authorities have attributed the following numbers of deaths to COVID-19: 13 (9/11, 8 in long-term or congregate care facilities), 9 (9/12, 7 LTC), 13 (9/13, 9 LTC), and three (9/14, 0 LTC). Hospitalizations continue at an extremely low number (235 total, 135 in intensive care). The data simply do not conform to the authorities’ repeated assertions that an alleged uptick in cases would be reflected in fatalities and hospitalizations. LTC deaths account for 72.7 percent of all fatalities attributed to the virus. The median age of decedents remains 83. The median age of new cases remains 35.

No one on yesterday’s Department of Health press briefing conference call raised any question about the continuing failure of the epidemic to conform to the department’s predictions, projections, or assurances. The briefings constitute a ritualized form of pacification. The MDH approved journalists are part of the program.

For a contrarian take on where we are now, please see Kevin Roche’s “Current epidemic recapitulation.” Kevin concludes his recap with these comments:

Our approach to quantifying the epidemic has been irresponsible and also fed the hysteria. Massive testing with no regard for false positives or marginal results leads to the appearance of large numbers of cases and surges in case growth. The unprecedented treatment of every death of every person who happened to have, or be suspected of having, some CV-19 in them at some time prior to death, leads to a death number that really is absurdly exaggerated.

There has been much debate about the comparison to flu. I keep pointing out that if we tested for influenza like we do for CV, if we counted deaths with flu virus like we do those with CV-19 virus, and if we had no vaccine for flu, influenza would account for far more cases and deaths than CV-19 has, and across a much wider range of the population. Does anyone actually believe that the response was justified by the threat?

I have posted the audio of yesterday’s briefing below. At about 19:00, Star Tribune reporter Jeremy Olson asks what the measures undertaken to suppress the epidemic so far have accomplished. Commissioner Jan Malcolm responds in part: “It’s hard to say…” They only wanted to keep the epidemic manageable, she says. We arrived at that destination months ago, and yet they refuse to let go of the reins.

Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann adds that we continue “to walk on the edge of a cliff.” Like Malcolm’s, Ehresmann’s formulation presents a perfect recipe for Governor Walz to continue as king long as he wanna be.