Sometimes it is all I can do to force myself to watch these atrocious Minnesota coronavirus press conferences and briefings. There is only so much of this repulsive messaging and massaging of the truth that can be stuffed down one’s throat before it must be cleared with a violent, Exorcist-type, projectile regurgitation. So it is with a heavy heart that I must report on further outright lies and evasion by our Dictator, who is fortunately, increasingly unloved, especially in outstate Minnesota.
Yesterday he made a special appearance to attempt to take a bow for his outstanding work in having the epidemic run through Minnesota’s long-term care facilities, and then implement a plan to prevent that from happening after it already occurred. A pretty safe plan considering that well over 1% of Minnesota’s long-term care residents have died of coronavirus and there aren’t many infectable people left in those facilities. When you first watch these events, you are entranced by the incredible orotund nature of his speech (he is a little rotund as well), a veritable flood of words, blathering endlessly, with sounds and cadence that are designed to impress the audience with his grasp of the subject and his careful, well-thought out actions. After a few viewings, however, you realize that he is an empty windbag who really doesn’t understand anything, has no real grasp of either data or science, and whose every action is politically calculated. But then what would we expect from someone who has zero life experience in actually managing anything or actually solving a problem. He was bought and paid for by the teachers’ union and other state employee unions, so he knows where to get his marching orders from. He spends more time figuring out how to message an issue that he does actually gathering intelligent viewpoints and making a sound decision. The Dictator’s emergency diktats are a perfect example of his leadership, if you want to call it that, style.
The flatulence of the mouth for the day was basically taking credit for getting the epidemic under control in Minnesota, while making it clear that “folks” (gee, isn’t that an endearing phrase) need to stay plenty scared and understand that we still need Big Daddy to take care of us. Now it turns out, after all those early press conferences where we were told that the plan would just delay infections and where he prominently displayed a model that showed over 12,000 of us are now dead and over 2 million have been infected (just a little off from reality), that the real plan is we are waiting for a vaccine. Seriously, that is and was the plan?
While we are waiting, he doesn’t want us to turn into Florida or Texas or Arizona, or certainly Hidalgo County, Texas, where he knows someone, and boy things are really bad. Unfortunately for the Dictator, the border counties of Texas, and Arizona, including Hidalgo, are having a lot of cases and hospitalizations in large part because people living in Mexico are crossing the border to get better care. Also, the Southern and Southwest state scare factor has an expiration date of the next week or so, because their case growth has rolled over, as have hospitalizations, with deaths to follow. So he will have to find some other basis for keeping us in the basement with the blanket over our heads, wearing surplus gas masks.
After the obligatory congratulatory presentations on what a wonderful job we had done in only having 80% of the state’s coronavirus deaths occur among long-term care residents, the floor was opened to questions, and the assembled journalists actually dared to be a bit challenging, which nettled our sensitive Dictator, who clearly expected deferential applause and congratulations. The first question was why in light of Washington State having the first outbreak in a nursing home didn’t we move faster to address the problem. The Dictator blamed the federal government, the virus, and math. He clearly didn’t teach math, because when further challenged on the percent of deaths in LTC, he said well the number of daily deaths in LTC is down significantly. The number of all deaths is way down, so the percent is still the same. You have the same relative issue. And, unlike the general population, a substantial portion of nursing home residents have been exposed, so the potential problems in LTC have been minimized, albeit in a most unpleasant manner, most of all for the actual facility residents.
He got an assist on bad math from the commissioner, who once again trotted out the “we count our LTC deaths differently, so we really aren’t that bad” argument. It is true that we should compare apples to apples, but if it is true that among the nursing home subset of long-term care residents we are “middle of the pack”, first of all, only in Lake Woebegon would that really be considered acceptable by Minnesotans, and secondly, that only means that our record in the rest of the long-term facilities–assisted living, group care homes, etc.–must be truly atrocious, because our overall record is pretty bad.
You get the gist; the usual mix of misinformation, outright lies, reframing issues, emphasizing anything that might be considered positive and blaming others for problems that couldn’t be easily evaded. Classic little Timmy Walz; would have loved to see him explain how the cookie jar fell and broke as a child.
Finally, the Dictator vacillated on school opening, and dared to reference the very, very odd infant death, as a reason for his hesitation. What does that have to do with school-age children? Just another example of his shameless hustling. Every piece of evidence says it is safe. Every piece of evidence says that it is very, very dangerous to keep children out of school. But just as with the lockdown, the Dictator has no ability to actually do any balancing of benefits and harms. And he claimed to be offended by suggestions that he is being political. That is all he ever is and again, he is owned by the teachers’ union, which doesn’t want in-person school, unless some enormous bribe is paid, and doesn’t give a damn about the welfare of children.
And he brought up mask wearing, basically saying if everyone would just wear masks, we could do anything, including opening schools. That is ludicrous and dangerous, it is very misleading, given the lack of foundation for such a statement. Again, lots of places with mask mandates in place for a long time are having case surges–the Dictator can call his fellow totalitarian in California to find out about that. He blew off a question on regionalizing any potential mandate of mask use, using some bullsh*t argument about people traveling around the state, which is completely illogical. He can kiss the outstate vote completely goodbye and they all think he can kiss something of theirs.
Near the end, clearly annoyed that the press continued to ask challenging questions, he kept encouraging reporters to ask about other topics. They weren’t very compliant. An epically shallow performance. Tomorrow, a discussion of the dreaded Mask Mandate.