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Minnesota Cases, Hospitalizations and Deaths

By July 20, 2020Commentary

Below is a chart through yesterday of Minnesota’s cases, hospitalizations and deaths.  (Thanks to C. Nelson for the chart.)  What will stand out immediately to you is that in May, when cases were rising, hospitalizations rose right along with them.  And when cases dropped, hospitalizations dropped as well.  Now cases are rising and the state is trying, I think for political reasons, to keep the public frightened about future hospitalizations and deaths.  But as you will see from looking at the chart, hospitalizations have not risen as cases have risen, and probably aren’t going to have any significant increase.  Why?  Because we are doing a lot more testing than we were in May and we are obviously finding largely mild and asymptomatic cases.  And because the epidemic was front-loaded–the most vulnerable got infected and sick first.  Our hospitalization and death rates compared to cases have fallen significantly over the last few weeks.  There is little to be concerned about, but……

At the daily briefing on Friday, our commissioner of health struggled mightily to try to make it sound like there was still something concerning about the level of cases or anything else regarding the epidemic.  We still aren’t back to our May peak, and that level occurred with far less testing.  Minnesota would be showing a much higher number of cases in May if we had been testing at the rate we are now.  And of course, the infectious disease director chimed in about spread from young to older people, once again providing no evidence to support this assertion.  I would like to see the data from contact tracing.  I would also like to see data on cases among people who routinely wore masks versus those who don’t.  At this point, there is no justification for lockdowns, mask mandates or any other constraints, so I think the administration is just desperate to make one up.  Meanwhile, our jobs and small businesses are in the pits, people still aren’t getting needed health care and children are being scared senselessly.

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