Coronavirus in one state (140)

Yesterday Governor Walz rolled out E.O. 20-103 — that’s the 103rd executive order of 2020 — to give citizens their marching orders for the immediate future. If you seek to enjoy a beer outdoors here in the coldest months of the year, as of Saturday you’re golden. If you seek to celebrate Christmas with your family, not so much. The whole thing reeks of the madness of the Central American dictator Esposito in Woody Allen’s Bananas (below). Silence!

Walz rolled out his order early yesterday afternoon with a Power Point presentation (video below). The illusion of management of the epidemic persists. He claims that Minnesota has achieved a steeper reduction (in new cases, I assume) than surrounding states. I don’t think so. He reassures Minnesotans: “Wanting to be with your family over the holiday does not make you a bad person.” However, it may subject you to criminal penalties.

Upon conclusion of his Power Point presentation Walz broke for a bill signing and press conference (video below). The bill is intended to lighten the financial harms inflicted by the current rules. He treated the signing like a major civil rights bill, signing with multiple pens.

This press conference is worth watching in part. Jabs at South Dakota become a motif, but that is the least of it. At 4:30 Tom Hauser asks Walz about the catastrophic effects of the shutdown regime on the hospitality industry. The concession to opening outdoors is implicitly mocked. Walz is thrown off for a few seconds. Walz searches in the grim recesses of his mind for a face-saving way out. “I live in Minnesota too,” Walz says with obvious annoyance. “People don’t want to eat outside a lot of times [in December and January].” Silence!

At about 22:30 Hauser asks whether Wisconsin hasn’t seen a decrease in new cases comparable to Minnesota’s without the stringent shutdown regime. There is essentially no answer to this beyond question the assertion that they think the shutdown is “contributing.” Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm then takes the lectern and refers vaguely to limitations imposed by Wisconsin localities.

Walz is then finally asked about the lack of public pressure on tribal casinos to conform to his orders. I asked this question in writing two or three weeks ago and have followed up again this week. The answer to my question stated that they have no authority over the tribal casinos and that Walz’s order (E.O. 20-99) specifically exempts them. I knew that. My question was how they have asked them to conform.

In response to this question Walz asserts that they are “having a lot of conversations on this.” He refers to his respect for tribal sovereignty. The question remains unanswered. Tom Hauser accordingly follows up at about 35:00. “We do talk to them [i.e., the tribes],” Walz asserts. “We encourage them to do it [what?],” he adds. “They’ve done a pretty good job,” he concludes. Silence!

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