I have to get the reaction to the daily coronavirus briefing last nite off my chest early. The Governor showed up for the first time in several days and gave his usual performance delivering all the same messages and using all the same words. This briefing was largely about how generous he is being in allowing a few more businesses to do a pitiful amount of opening on June 1st. The thing that really strikes you is the level of detail in these orders, dictating every little aspect of how a business and the people patronizing it must behave. The state’s businesses quickly reacted with dismay and most small firms indicated they simply can’t survive under these conditions. Meanwhile, the Governor isn’t bothering to tell us this anymore, but now almost 700,000 Minnesotans are out of work and the number keeps growing. Remember that it is now several weeks since the Governor started saying that changes to his orders would let 132,000 Minnesotans go back to work. Instead the number out of work is still rising.
Yesterday, we again learn that out of 29 deaths, 26 were of long-term care residents. The Governor can get into all this detail into how a business can operate “safely” but can’t figure out how to keep the residents of long-term care facilities protected.
Here are the Governor’s favorite words: science, data, experts, balance, safe, danger. He hides behind public health experts instead of making good judgments himself. He claims he is just following the data and science, but it is obvious to any regular reader of this blog that he isn’t. On the contrary, he ignores what is blatantly obvious to anyone–the only issue Minnesota has is in the long-term care facilities. The rest of the population could go about its business with about as much risk as that of being hit by a meteorite. He claims people won’t go back to restaurants and stores if they don’t think it is safe, but he is the one promoting fear.
He claims he is balanced in his orders, but all you have to do is look at the job losses and the business closures and the missed vaccinations and the people not getting routine care for chronic diseases and on and on to know that there is no balance at all in his orders, no consideration for what is happening to millions of Minnesotans’ lives.
Other lies, and I am not going to pretend he is doing anything other than lying, which means to say something that you know isn’t true, include: he has tried to work with the legislature. No he hasn’t, he hasn’t agreed to one thing suggested by the other party. The epidemic is following the model. Well, assuming you can figure out which version of the model we are supposed to be using, we aren’t seeing cases or deaths anything like what the model predicts. He claims the shutdowns and social distancing are the best thing we can do to control epidemic. No, the best thing we could do to protect everyone is actually allow a spread through the low-risk population.
The stupid analogy of the day was a pot on the stove and trying to keep the pot simmering but not boiling over. The Governor has already cooked most Minnesotans to beyond well done and a lot of them are boiling mad.
Meanwhile, our press corps put in another outstanding performance, failing to ask one question about why he allowed infected patients to go to the long-term care facilities.