I would have written this up last nite after watching the Governor’s press conference on coronavirus and other issues, but I was pretty steamed and it is always best to let the emotion cool before writing. Walz is a master at the techniques politicians use to mislead the public, and yesterday was no exception. You will recognize several of the techniques as I describe his statements, or should I say mis-statements, because as it becomes more and more apparent that there is no basis for his extreme actions, he has resorted to outright lies. So, on with the show.
At a couple of points he claimed there will be ongoing high levels of infection for months, we might have to do this until February, we are a long way from a vaccine or herd immunity. He obviously isn’t looking at international, national or state data. The epidemic has peaked, people are largely ignoring social distancing requirements, including the Governor when it suits him, and there is no reason based on what we know now to suspect a substantial resurgence. He just can’t resist the urge to try to scare the hell out of people and then have them be oh so grateful that big daddy is keeping them safe. He has damaged or destroyed the life of every Minnesotan.
We are now seeing doctors and scientists around the world saying that the pathogen’s virulence is lessening. I don’t think that is happening. What has occurred is exactly what we predicted at the start; this epidemic was front-loaded with the most susceptible people getting infected near the start. There are fewer of those people to infect, so now we are predominantly seeing cases of milder illness. This is good news, for everyone but the Governor apparently. And at this point, I don’t know that there will be any need for a vaccine.
The main coronavirus topic was how the Governor was generously allowing more businesses to open, although still in a micro-managed manner. Once again we get the crap about how balanced he has been. Here is the absolute truth: the Governor never one time has had any analysis done about the harm his orders would do or what the relative effects of other approaches might be. He just made his mind up and did it. At one point he referred to businesses “being willing to stay shutdown”. It is flabbergasting to see the capacity to lie and reframe the situation. He ordered them to shutdown and threatened them with punishment if they didn’t shutdown. There was no choice. If he was being balanced, why is the whole state being treated the same? It is clear that there is no need for the same rules outstate as in the metro.
Thanks to his complete lack of balance, the state unemployment fund is now out of money and has to borrow from the federal government. State and local resources are depleted. With all due disrespect, Secretary Grove is a verbose ding-dong who wouldn’t know how to manage a business if he had a staff of Fortune 100 CEOs helping him. Yet he is somehow qualified to issue these incredibly detailed requirements about how a business should operate. There is no data or science behind any of it.
Once again we get the line about needing consumer confidence when the Governor is the primary person inducing fear in the population. Fortunately Minnesotans are increasingly demonstrating a willingness to use their own good judgment and ignore him. He says we are one of the more open states, which is not true. He was asked a question about comments from Sen. Gazelka, the leader in the other party, and this is when the lies really started to flow. He repeated the falsehood that Sweden’s chief epidemiologist had regretted the country’s approach. What the gentleman actually said was that he wouldn’t do anything different other than taking faster and more action to protect the elderly in care homes. Sound familiar, Governor?
He claimed that there was no regulation of long-term care homes until he became Governor. That is so false I can’t even figure out what he possibly was referring to, there has been federal and state regulation of these facilities for decades. He said being 100% open was not consistent with the science and while he considered other opinions he had to follow the experts. What has become very clear, and was admitted a couple of weeks ago by the health commissioner, is that he doesn’t at all consult with legislative leaders in the other party or with anyone who doesn’t tell him exactly what he wants to hear. He says leading epidemiologists are warning that a decline in cases is not a good sign? Again, I don’t even know what he is referring to, maybe seasonality concerns, but he twists it in a weird way. I thought the whole point of what he was doing was to make cases decline from what they otherwise would be.
Here is why we see the increasingly desperate attempts to justify his actions. Cases plateaued in Minnesota weeks ago, as did hospitalizations and deaths. The epidemic is waning. Just when his model says it is rising sharply, remember by June 15 we will have 4300 deaths and a million cases, and that assumed we were following social distancing rules and we aren’t. Guess we aren’t going to need that warehouse they wasted precious state funds on.
In regard to this and the rioting he says the buck stops with him, but then immediately shifts it to others-the “experts”, law enforcement, etc. He takes zero responsibility, and as Sen. Gazelka suggested, he should apologize to Minnesotans. Instead we hear that we are all guilty of “systemic racism”. Last time I checked, the Governor’s party has been in control of the state for ten years and in control of Minneapolis and St. Paul for decades. The “system” is your system, Governor, and your party’s system, so if there is systemic racism, it is your responsibility. And so is all the damage caused by your panicked, uninformed over-reaction to the coronavirus epidemic.