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Morning Update

By May 28, 2020Commentary

Due to other tragic and really, completely unexplainable and unjustifiable events in Minneapolis, our Governor and his staff only spent part of the briefing on coronavirus yesterday.  What he did say as usual was an astounding blend of disingenuous statements.  He still insists on saying he is being balanced, when there is no real data or science behind any of his orders at this point.  He clearly doesn’t care about workers, 700,000 of whom have lost their jobs, or businesses, thousands of which are closing up.  He simply doesn’t care, because there is no justification for keeping them closed or limited in how they do business.  Minnesota has a nursing home and congregate living epidemic, that is it, period, and he hasn’t been able to muster any meaningful response.  Yesterday again, 80% of deaths in those settings.  Then he has the effrontery to suggest that sending recovering, and still contagious, nursing home residents back to their facilities, is just sending them home and we have to consider their feelings.  How can he say that on one hand and on the other tell all Minnesotans that they can’t gather or engage in any number of activities.  It has become apparent that the Governor and his staff spend more time deciding how to message a problem than they do trying to fix it.

The other crap he tried to feed people was about how the models do tens of thousands and runs and the information they come up with useful and he has to follow it.  His model sucks and he knows it and he relied on it to make a really stupid decision.  Tell people to stay in their homes, where they are four times more likely to get infected.  Shut schools when children have no risk and are very, very limited sources of transmission.  Destroy the economy and health system, leading to many more deaths.  Don’t do anything to address senior living settings until it is far too late.  Yeah, you have done a great job Governor.

And speaking of more rational responses to an epidemic, this article describes the response to the 1957-58 flu epidemic in Britain.  (LS Article)  The article notes as we have before, that this epidemic, proportional to the population at the time, killed and infected many more people, especially young people.  No stay-at-home orders, no shutdowns, little economic effect.  The big difference is social and traditional media hysteria and political unwillingness to be firm and calm.  If oil companies can be sued for climate change, let’s sue CNN and other media companies for the economic and other damage caused by the coronavirus hysteria.


Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • DuluthGuy says:

    I agree with everything that you say in this article. The problem is the number of people who think rationally before they develop an opinion are few and far between. The individuals that wanted everything shut down got control of the narrative before anyone started thinking rationally. They were able to scare people to the point where it’s beyond pointless to try to convince otherwise. I’ve talked to several friends who fall into this category. You can give them statistics such as that 81% of the deaths are in nursing homes, 99% of the deaths are people with known pre-existing conditions, the chance of kids becoming sick from coronavirus are almost nil, etc. And it’s almost like they try to convince themselves to remain scared. Once one side gets control of the narrative, it’s almost impossible to change it.

    I keep wondering whether Walz is evil or stupid. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s stubborn. He knows that he was wrong when this all started, but he will not admit that he made a mistake and is doing everything he can to try to convince people that he was right all along. So I guess there’s a certain evil that comes along with that.

    It’d be interesting to go back to early March and see how all of these shutdowns started and in what order. My memory tells me the first thing to shut down was the NBA after a player tested positive for it, then the NCAA cancelled their basketball and hockey tournaments (along with all spring sports), then the NHL shut down, then the MN State High School league cancelled all remaining state tournament games, then all colleges in the state went to online only, and then the K-12 schools shut down. The ball just started rolling downhill faster and faster to close everything and wasn’t going to slow down, much less stop. If there’s anything that can be learned (or reinforced) from this, is don’t do something just because everyone else is.

  • mmemhopp says:

    I don’t know if you have already done this, but your last commentary would make a great opinion piece in the Star/trib (if they would publish it). This kind of information needs to be out there….to help combat the lack of information that the media is feeding the public. The public need to have their eyes opened to the poor performance that our governing officials have done.

  • Harley says:

    The untold story is the severe economic damage that is being inflicted on the state economy by the shutdown orders and the slow walk back to a healthy economy. It certainly appears the governor and his staff are stubborn as they continue to dress their continuing policy narrative in talk about how they are data-driven, following their models, and acting prudently. I noticed in a previous press conference that Walz seemingly couldn’t wait to hand off the microphone and economic discussion to the head of DEED.

    Business financial projections often have similar underlying characteristics, a.) an overly optimistic top line revenue forecast and b.) a desire by senior management to maintain or even build a larger than necessary personnel and overhead expense base, with that expense burden “financed” with expected margin from the forecast growth in revenue. Usually, a few months down the road, as revenue comes up short and the operating loss deepens, the financial folks maintaining the model find themselves up against the head winds of that overly-optimistic sales manager, who remains convinced that the break-through is imminent and that things are about to take off.

    I believe a similar modeling scenario is underway in St. Paul. The governor’s actions have severely damaged the state’s top line revenue, with declining sales tax and income tax revenues. Further, he has not adjusted expenses in a meaningful way and his picked up the added costs of unemployment benefits and health care and hospitalization expenses. The most recent state budget update showed a shift from a surplus to a shortfall, a gap I believe is rapidly widening now but not being currently reported.

    So, somewhere down the road, the governor’s only tool in his progressive tool box will be to increase taxes (and maybe some bonus payments for his crisis team and pay raises for state employees), a further blow to economic recovery. We can only hope The legislature can persevere against it.

    I believe Walz and his team are going to end up being a “boiled frog” at their own hands. And there is no need to encourage them to turn up the “heat” on themselves, they seem quite adept on their own.

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