Science, Minnesota Style

My friend Mitch Berg posted this on Twitter:

The shutdown regime here in Minnesota is idiotic: bars and restaurants, which account for 1.7% of infections according to the state’s own data, are shut down, while big business roars along as it has throughout 2020. Mitch’s comparison means a lot to me because these places are within a few miles of my house, and Jensen’s is one of our favorite local restaurants.

There was never any coherent explanation (or incoherent explanation, for that matter) of why small businesses were shut down for months while big businesses (Target, WalMart, Costco, Home Depot, Total Wine, etc.) remained open throughout 2020. Dim Tim Walz’s administration has now said that retail stores are not a source of COVID spread, so that was all a mistake, and small shops are now, belatedly, permitted to do business. Sorry about all those needless bankruptcies. (Those are my words; Dim Tim has not apologized.)

But restaurants, bars and gyms are now closed, and schools and school activities are shut down, with zero empirical basis. People will catch COVID at Jensen’s, but not at the dozens of stores (pretty much all big business outlets) across the parking lot, crowded with shoppers? I’d like to hear Dim Tim explain that one.

Minnesota owns the distinction of having the only governor who is explicitly anti-science. Others, to be fair, are implicitly anti-science based on their actions, but Dim Tim Walz is the only governor, so far, to proudly fly the banner of ignorance: “It’s not about numbers. It’s not about data. It’s about neighborliness.” You can see the fruits of Walz’s anti-science approach in Mitch’s photos, and many thousands of Minnesotans are feeling the effects of his arrogant ignorance.