The best epidemic related commentary I read this week was Matt Continetti’s Washington Free Beacon column “The next populist revolt.” I want to flag it for readers here at the top of my update.
The Minnesota Department of Health threw me a curve ball with its third briefing of the week. Upsetting the customary schedule, they held it on Thursday rather rather than on Friday. I have posted the audio below, but I am late getting to it. Kevin Roche was on top of it with his post “A Head Full of Brief(ing) Thoughts.” On Thursday the data reflected 32 new deaths (20 in long-term care facilities) and on Friday 18 new deaths (12 LTC). The median age of decedents remains 83 per the department’s COVID-19 Weekly Report (10/29).
Commissioner Malcolm and Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann allocate the blame for the current surge in “new cases” and LTC deaths to Minnesotans noncompliant with their “guidance.” They say they are fine tuning their “5-point battle plan” to prevent the spread of the disease in congregate care settings. In the meantime, however, they want us to know that the LTC deaths are not their fault. We are responsible by virtue of the prevalence of “community spread” of the disease.
Somewhere between the lines of their comments I hear the hammer that will fall after the elections. The reporters are all but begging for it. The only protection against Governor Walz’s extension of one-man rule for the indefinite future is Republican majorities in both houses of the Minnesota legislature, where Republicans now hold only a slim majority in the state senate.
All legislative seats are on the ballot next week. If you are registered to vote in Minnesota, please make sure you support the GOP’s legislative candidates. Governor Walz means to give it to us again good and hard after November 3. The need to check his power is urgent.