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A Holiday Weekend Screed About the Insanity of the Current Policies

By May 23, 2020May 24th, 2020Commentary

This post is just me raging about the insanity of what we are doing to ourselves (or more accurately here in Minnesota, what the Governor is doing to us) with absolutely zero basis in data or science.  So don’t read it, if you don’t want to get as worked up as I am.

Our Governor keeps doubling down on economy and people killing actions that are completely unsupported by anything.  He refuses to let bars and restaurants open in any reasonable way.  He just shut the Minnesota state fair, a tradition in the state for a hundred years.  He has mandated every little detail about how businesses are supposed to operate, making it impossible for them to get the revenue they need to pay their bills.  At this point he is just acting out of irrational stubbornness, incapable of admitting that he made a mistake listening to so-called experts, believing a completely unrealistic model and doing no analysis of the impact of his orders on the economy or on the health of Minnesotans.  I started out trying to be sympathetic to the position he was in, but at this point I have zero respect for him.  He has revealed himself to be that dirtiest of dirty words–nothing but a politician.  He lies, he misleads, he uses the usual sleazy, devious messaging tactics.  That is not leadership, it is a combination of dictatorship and Machiavellian manipulation of the population.

Here are the facts he should be relying on.

Out of 19,845 total cases in the state, 1633 cases are in people aged 80 and over. That is 8.2% of all reported cases. Deaths in that group are 522. That is a 32% case fatality rate and it is 61% of all deaths.  8.2% of cases, 61% of deaths.

At the other end, there are 5158 cases in people 29 and under. That is 26% of all cases. There are zero deaths in that entire group.  26% of cases, zero percent of deaths.

697 of all deaths are among residents of long term care facilities and assisted living settings. 697 out of 852 total deaths is 82% of all deaths. Here is one way to look at that. There are apparently around 80,000 Minnesotans living in these settings. 697 divided by 80,000 is a .87% death rate. Within a week, one percent of Minnesotans living in these settings will have died from coronavirus.

There are 155 deaths in the whole rest of the population, 5,610,000 Minnesotans. That is a .0028% fatality rate. 3 one-thousandths of a percent. Minnesotans who don’t live in a long-term care or assisted living facility are more likely to die from hundreds of other causes.

Meanwhile, 700,000 Minnesotans have lost their jobs, and still rising.  Thousands of our businesses have gone under or soon will.  Children are being abused at higher rates, aren’t being vaccinated, and are missing well-child visits.  Cancer isn’t being diagnosed because people are afraid to go to screenings.  Cancer patients are missing treatments, people with heart attack symptoms aren’t going to the emergency room.  All because our fear-mongering Governor has decided to terrorize the population so they don’t look behind the curtain and see that he was a panicked buffoon in his response to the epidemic.  There is no danger to the general population.

Far more Minnesotans in the general population are going to die from the effects of the shutdown than from coronavirus.   We should completely reverse all our mitigation actions now, with the exception of doing something, anything, better than what we have been doing in regard to vulnerable groups.

While the Governor can come up with really detailed orders for how every type of business has to operate, he can’t seem to do a thing to keep long-term care facility residents safe, which is a direct responsibility of the state.  It took him over two months to come up with the absurdly titled “battle plan” to protect these people.  Since that plan was announced, absolutely no change, 80% plus of all deaths are occurring among these people week after week after week.   It is more like a war on those residents than on coronavirus.

I said from the very start, when I first took up the pen about the epidemic, that the course of action being followed was suicidal and unnecessary.  Every data point since shows that to be the case.  And I am determined that eventually every Minnesotan should understand the folly of what the state and the Governor did.


Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Bob Easton says:

    Someone should tell your guvner that incredibly few 80 year old people frequent your State Fair. I live in NY and am 75 years old, but I’ve been to the Minnesota State Fair twice and enjoyed it immensely. Yet, it’s getting to be a long walk … and I’ve already had enough fried things on a stick.

    Anyone with two brain cells to rub together would realize that the overwhelming majority of fair goers and virtually all fair operators / promoters have zero risk from this virus. I’ve always thought that Minnesotan’s were a lot smarter than this guvner and his advisers. … and agree wholeheartedly with your rant.

  • N.S. Palmer says:

    A lot of it is human nature: we don’t like to admit that we were wrong, and we’re easily seduced by power. As for the population at large, they’ve been terrified by 24/7 fear-mongering in the news media. Even after things re-open, it will take some time to reassure people. There are eerie parallels with the 1988 dystopian movie “They Live:”

  • Matt S says:

    Keep speaking truth to power! I have reached the bottom this week. I can no longer listen to people who think they or their children are going to die from the virus when they are more at risk from a car accident. I just wish we had more of a protest movement here in MN.

  • mmemhopp says:

    I share your pain. It is devastatingly sad what has happened to our state/country. Where is the common sense? It is very disappointing that people cannot do their own reading and research on this….instead they are scared to death by the media and cannot apparently think for themselves, and blindly follow our “enlightened leaders”….

  • RigelDog says:

    “There are 155 deaths in the whole rest of the population, 5,610,000 Minnesotans. That is a .0028% fatality rate. 3 one-thousandths of a percent. ”

    The risk for people without serious underlying health problems is way smaller even than that. According to reporting on Powerline, the daily briefings have revealed the following: take all of the deaths in LTC, and add in the deaths outside of LTC that were suffered by people with serious health problems. That total constitutes @99% of all fatalities. Ninety-nine percent. They also said, if I understood the reporting correctly, that the youngest person in that one percent of non-LTC/non-serious comorbidity fatalities was SEVENTY! That would mean that NO person without serious pre-existing health problems has died who is under the age of 70.

  • Doug Young says:

    Thanks for continuing to write about this Kevin. I’m out here in the Bay Area, and we have the worst, draconian local Dem politicians and governor (& I’m a Democrat!), who just keep spouting “we’re listening to the experts” without ever referencing who they’re talking to and what studies are supporting the continuing lockdown. With even the CDC backing off on their earliest 3.4% death rate projections, now saying there’s a 0.40% case fatality rate, of which 35% is asymptomatic, which equals a 0.26% infection fatality rate, leading to CV-19 being about as bad as a slightly bad flu year (remove NYC & you have an average flu year for the 320 Million rest of us), the local and state politicians refusal to completely open up is obvious a political strategy and not a heath one. Since these are mostly Democrats doing this, is this an attempt to blame the “crisis” on Trump during this election year? One good thing out here is that we’ve been having plenty of protests – I attended a big one in Sacramento yesterday, where one media outlet said that hundreds showed up (there were more than 100 just in the taco truck line), the local newspaper said 2,000, and I estimated that it was over 5,000. Hopefully you can get some people to show up to your capitol building soon. Good luck.

  • says:

    Governor Walz is a fraud.

    This is what you (we) get, when you (we) elect a slick talking high school social studies teacher, and put ‘his highness’ on the bridge of the Good-Ship Minnesota.. Add to this farce, his second in command, a third rate ‘community organizer’ and huckster from Detroit, MN Attorney General Keith (‘I have too many aliases to recount’) Ellison, and the table has been set for disaster.. Then there is our MN Secretary of Stateless & Voter Fraud, Steve Simon.. ..Oh brother.. ..The remaining ‘Dr Strange-love’ type-cast of losers are far too many to mention.. Besides, I have a gag reflex..

    In the past 4 plus years, Minnesota has lost over $70 Billion Dollars of Wealth, permanently.. Those ‘snowbirds’ have flown the coop.. Said differently, those Elvis’s have left the building, for good.. Business have either closed down permanently, or bugged out of Minnesota completely as well. Now what?

    If this were a comedy, then ‘The Gov.’ (Mel Brooks) in ‘Blazing Saddles, would be the appropriate stand-in for this little political bully. But, this is not a movie, and certainly no comedy. This goofball is destroying lives, and ending them prematurely too.. He is also destroying what’s left of Minnesota’s economic engine..

    Case in point? Minnesota’s DFL just re-endorsed Ilhan – (aka’s: Said – Abdullahi – Elmi – Hirsi) – Omar.. ‘The Gov’. and Keith E. will both give her a great big ‘Minnesota Nice’ hug and endorsement too…

    Lastly, we have this on the flip side.. ..’Pandemic or NO Pandemic, that is the question’.. Is ‘The Gov’ and his minions just picking and choosing POLITICAL winners & losers?

  • DuluthGuy says:

    I’m guessing we’ll soon be told that if there are Vikings or Gophers Football games this fall, it’ll be without fans. This will be the year the Gophers go to the Rose Bowl, but it’ll be played without fans so none of us can make the trip.

    This has been the most mishandled crisis in my lifetime for sure. Shutting down the schools (where there is almost no danger at all) and forcing the nursing homes (where the risk is very high) to accept new patients were both downright insane. I’d have a lot more respect for Walz if he had the guts that he’s made mistakes, but he keeps doubling down instead.

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