School closings are harming academic performance

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote a post criticizing the closing of public schools in response to the pandemic. Much of the post consisted of quotations from an email I received from a reader regarding the situation in Arlington, Virginia. Today, the Washington Post has an article about the situation in Fairfax County, another Northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. The article documents the “learning gap” produced by substituting online for in-person instruction »

An Emmy for Andrew Cuomo

Featured image Is there a governor who has turned in a more disgraceful performance in connection with the COVID-19 epidemic? I don’t think so. Yet he turned his press conferences to good use, portraying himself fighting the good fight in heroic terms. In his press conferences Cuomo played the role of a competent and candid public servant. The Washington Free Beacon’s Graham Piro notes that “Cuomo has taken heat for ordering thousands »

Coronavirus in one state (130)

Featured image Governor Walz convened yet another COVID-19 press conference yesterday afternoon (video below). The verbiage flowed in the usual torrent. His performance made me wonder if the Emmy Foundation gave Walz a fair shot before it chose to recognize New York Governor Andrew Cuomo with an Emmy for his press conferences. Like Cuomo, Walz deserves some kind of recognition for what he has wrought in his press conferences. Indeed, Walz’s failure »

School shutdowns border on the irrational

Featured image I’m not quick to label approaches to dealing with the Wuhan coronavirus irrational. For example, I don’t think it was irrational for Norway to institute a lockdown last Spring or for Sweden not to do so. Both were rational responses to a novel crisis. Similarly, I don’t think it’s irrational now, with the virus spreading again so rapidly, to impose heightened restrictions in some areas for a few months until »

Our insane shutdowns

Featured image COVID-19 appears to move with a mind of its own and to strike the elderly, the infirm, and especially the infirm elderly with particular harshness. The shutdowns undertaken by Minnesota and other state governments constitute acts of willful destruction on a monumental scale. On this point, see John Tierney’s City Journal column “Lockdown addicts.” Tierney writes, for example: Instead of reconsidering their policies, local officials are restricting more businesses and »

COVID Hypocrisy Is the Least Of It

Featured image Gavin Newsom’s infamous dinner with lobbyists at the French Laundry is the latest example of a political leader who prescribes rules for the rest of us, and then flouts them himself. We have seen this over and over again, as Karol Markowicz reminds us (via InstaPundit.) She cites many examples of our supposed betters who hector us to wear masks, social distance, close down our businesses, avoid restaurants, associate with »

Shutdown Blues [Updated]

Featured image Today the latest shutdown order by Governor Tim Walz took effect in Minnesota. COVID cases have been rising across the Upper Midwest, so our “emergency” continues. This time, the shutdown applies to restaurants, bars, gyms and youth sports. Of course, that COVID cases are rising is no mystery, even apart from the fact that vastly expanded testing naturally generates more cases. COVID is a seasonal flu bug. When it declined »

Coronavirus in one state (129)

Featured image Governor Walz’s most recent shutdown order became effective overnight. He seized control of the public relations this week by taking over each of the press briefings usually run by the Minnesota Department of Health. He concluded with a bang yesterday, convening a briefing on mental health issues exacerbated by the shutdown and related restrictions. He also hosted several guests from mental health services along with Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and »

Coronavirus in one state (128)

Featured image Governor Walz convened yet another press conference this afternoon to present Minnesota health care providers and executives speaking up on his behalf in support of his lockdown order. Walz opened with reference to the 72 new deaths attributed to the epidemic today. It is another record. Fifty-one of the 72 were residents of long-term care facilities (he didn’t mention that). The median age of decedents remains 83, according to the »

A Cuomo Thanksgiving

Featured image Andrew Cuomo has decreed that private gatherings in New York State, including those for Thanksgiving, shall be limited to no more than ten people. Cuomo declared: New York follows the science. We know indoor gatherings and parties are a major source of COVID spread. To slow the spread, NYS will limit indoor gatherings at private residences to 10 people. This limit takes effect Friday at 10pm. Cuomo did not cite »

Coronavirus in one state (127)

Featured image Governor Walz announced a new set of lockdown measures in a televised 26-minute torrent of verbiage last night (video below). The authorities attributed 67 new deaths to COVID-19 in the data released yesterday morning. Fifty-one of these deaths occurred among residents of long-term care facilities. Yet nowhere in his announcement or the following press conference (audio at the bottom) did this subject come up. Pulitzer Prize-winning Star Tribune health care »

Talking media access

Featured image My friends at Justice and Drew on Twin Cities News Talk AM 1130 invited me to discuss the resolution of my First Amendment press access lawsuit against Minnesota Department of Health officials this morning. Drew Lee kindly clipped the audio at my request (below). I would like to note the comments of unqualified support by Fluence Media’s Blois Olson and the Minnesota Reformer‘s Patrick Coolican on the resolution of the »

Mask this

Featured image Based on “the science,” Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is announcing another set of shutdown measures in yet another of his Joe Isuzu come-ons tonight. Coincidentally comes word of the long-awaited Danish mask study. It was finally published this morning. As expected, it found masks were generally not effective in protecting the wearer of the mask from infection by the Covid virus. This was the largest-ever randomized controlled trial to test »

America, Trump, and the health effects of the coronavirus

Featured image One of Joe Biden’s key campaign talking points was that the U.S., under President Trump, has fared much worse than the rest of the world when it comes to the health effects of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. It was a point Biden and Kamala Harris were able to make early in each debate, thanks to the way the moderators decided to sequence the debate topics. But the talking point is »

Media access in one state: Finale

Featured image I brought a section 1983 lawsuit against Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm and MDH Communications Director Michael Schommer for excluding me from the MDH press briefings on and after April 27. I alleged that they excluded me on political grounds in violation of the First Amendment. They moved to dismiss the lawsuit on the ground that I failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. I moved »

Coronavirus in one state (126)

Featured image “Cases,” hospitalizations, and deaths continue to surge in Minnesota as they do across the Upper Midwest. Elderly residents of long-term care facilities and others with significant underlying conditions are at particular risk, although the authorities do not flag the data for reasons that cynics probably understand best. Ninety-four percent of all those whose deaths are attributed to the epidemic had significant underlying conditions; two percent lacked them. I hope all »

Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is Gavin Newsom

Featured image California Governor Gavin Newsom is a notorious COVID scold, berating the citizens of his state for not being sufficiently self-sacrificing. His Department of Health notoriously put out a bulletin that directed restaurant diners to wear face masks between bites. So it is no surprise that California politics are being roiled by the revelation, first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, that Newsom and his wife attended a dinner for 12, »