Coronavirus in one state (116)

Featured image The headline in Minnesota’s COVID-19 news is the 35 new deaths authorities attributed to the disease yesterday. The number ties a record that goes back to May. However, it follows daily reports of five new deaths (10/17), 17 new deaths (10/18), five new deaths (10/19), and 7 new deaths (10/20). Does the number 35 reflect a backlog of earlier deaths dumped into yesterday’s data? Tom Hauser asked the question at »

Coronavirus in one state (115)

Featured image The public health authorities want us to know that we the dangers of COVID-19 abide. New case counts are increasing slightly faster than testing. The testing positivity rate has exceeded an arbitrary threshold of concern. Hospitalizations are up, but not much. Yet the death toll creeps in this petty pace from day to day. Taking the the deaths attributed to the disease by the authorities yesterday, we had five new »

Coronavirus timeline

Featured image The Hudson Institute has produced the brief video below highlighting its Coronavirus timeline chronicling the progression of the virus from Wuhan, its global spread, and efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to suppress key facts and spread disinformation about the virus’s origins. A year ago this past October 15 hospitals in Wuhan first began experiencing a surge in hospitalizations that would later be connected to COVID-19 and mark the beginning »

Coronavirus in one state (114)

Featured image New cases of COVID-19 have climbed to record levels in Minnesota. That is the headline news in stories such as MPR’s “Highest death count in months; 1,200 new cases” (October 14) and “Latest on COVID-19 in MN: Deaths climb, case counts skyrocket on strong testing” (October 16) this week — stories that faithfully reflect the tone and content of advice from the Department of Health. The record number of cases »

Europe responds to “second wave” with curfews and lockdowns

Featured image Europe is experiencing a major spike in new cases of the Wuhan coronavirus. Fortunately, that spike has not yet been accompanied by a major increase in deaths from the virus. Nonetheless, some European leaders have imposed stringent new measures in response to the spike in new cases. Let’s look at the five major Western European nations — Spain, France, the UK, Italy, and Germany. I’ll start with Spain, the first »

Has any current athlete or coach died from the coronavirus?

Featured image As a sports fan, I read almost every day about current athletes and coaches who test positive for the Wuhan coronavirus. Yesterday, for example, I learned that legendary Alabama football coach Nick Saban has tested positive. Twenty-one members of the University of Florida football team reportedly have, as well. From Italy comes word that the Napoli soccer team was required by local authorities to be quarantined due to a couple »

Coronavirus in one state (113)

Featured image As I suggested yesterday, the public relations imperative is coming to the fore as the elections approach. Following up on his excruciating dog and pony show featuring victims of COVID-19 last week, Governor Walz himself took the helm of a one-hour COVID-19 press briefing again yesterday with guests including Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Assistant Commissioner Dan “the Dread” Huff, and the mayors of Duluth and Brooklyn Park. »

Coronavirus in one state (112)

Featured image The COVID-19 casedemic rolls on but the authorities slightly loosen their grip (consistent with federal guidance) as the elections approach. The two sides of the story can be seen in Jeremy Olson’s “COVID-19 hospital admissions for Minnesotans reach a single-day high” (subhead: “Health officials encourage social distancing, mask-wearing to prevent virus growth from fueling more hospitalizations, deaths” and Chris Serres’s “Minnesota lifts restrictions on indoor visits to senior homes, but »

The Partisan Split on Coronavirus Is Extraordinary

Featured image To recast an old formula, it appears that Republicans are from Mars and Democrats are from Venus. I don’t know how else to explain the deep gulf that separates Democrats from Republicans when it comes to the Wuhan flu. Check out these numbers, from Gallup: It is amazing but I suspect these numbers will converge after the election. — Kyle Smith (@rkylesmith) October 11, 2020 I gave a speech »

Coronavirus in one state (111)

Featured image In yesterday’s data, the authorities attributed 14 deaths to COVID-19. Thirteen of the 14 new deaths occurred among residents of long-term or congregate care facilities. This seems accurately to represent the current state of the epidemic in Minnesota. On days when the number of new deaths jumps, congregate care settings predominate. Over the the three preceding days, the authorities reported four new deaths (10/6, one LTC), 14 new deaths (10/7, »

Coronavirus in one state (110)

Featured image Kevin Roche and I were law school classmates. I didn’t see him much in class because he was working his way through school. Since then he has become a friend. As the former general counsel to UnitedHealth and chief executive officer of its Ingenix division, he brings a useful expertise to the subject of my Coronavirus in one state series, and I have frequently turned to him for guidance. In »

Shutdowns and the coronavirus, a different take

Featured image Yesterday, I renewed my argument that shutdowns significantly reduce coronavirus deaths. Today, I want to present a video lecture, chock full of data, that takes the opposite position. The lecture focuses mostly on Europe, but also discusses the U.S. It didn’t persuade me that shutdowns at the height of a pandemic have only negative impacts, and I found portions of the argument to be inconsistent with one another. But there »

Coronavirus in one state (109)

Featured image Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is set to extend one-man rule for another 30 days by calling the state legislature into its fifth special session on Monday. He apparently intends to keep “emergency” rule going for the indefinite future. For public relations purposes Walz convened a roundtable on the epidemic yesterday featuring physicians and others with tales to tell. I have posted the video below. “The COVID-19 virus is unpredictable, and »

The Biggest Defect of the Left [with comment by Paul]

Featured image When asked to name the single greatest defect of the left, I usually answer quite narrowly: an inability to think in terms of tradeoffs. This is why liberals, owing to a Kantian-inspired disposition that favors intentions above consequences, tend always to utopianism, to the view that we if we just have good will and another tax increase, we can have the best yearbook ever! As Thomas Sowell likes to say, “There »

Do shutdowns reduce coronavirus deaths significantly? An update

Featured image In an August post, I argued that shutdowns reduce coronavirus deaths significantly. I based my argument on common sense — the disease spreads through human contact so, up to a point, reducing human contact reduces the number of infections — and on comparisons between the experiences of neighboring jurisdictions that have taken different approaches to shutting down. I thought it might be worthwhile to update the comparisons I made in »

Reductio Ad Californium

Featured image You knew it had to happen: wearing face masks in restaurants is ridiculous, since you have to take them off to eat or drink. So as a practical matter, we wear them for 15 seconds each way as we walk to our tables. A sensible person would say that the whole farce of wearing masks in restaurants should be abandoned. But that person doesn’t live in California: Going out to »

Declare this

Featured image James Freeman devoted his Best of the Web column yesterday to flagging the Great Barrington Declaration. Freeman’s column asks “Why Won’t the Media Listen to These Scientists?” He explains that the scientists and practitioners who are signatory to the declaration — they number more than a thousand per the running total at the top of the declaration — warn against the destructive policies adopted to address COVID-19. That must be »