I want to start with a couple of notes in regard to Sweden. First, Minnesota’s deaths per million are at 665. Sweden is at 692. So let’s don’t pretend that they are doing much worse than we are. They are doing much better by that measure than almost every US state and the US as a whole. There has been a suggestion lately that they are moving away from their relatively restrained approach and that this approach was some kind of failure. Sweden has seen a renewed case wave, as has most of Europe, and that wave is stronger in less populated areas, as is tending to be in other countries and the US. The notion that Sweden’s approach has failed is absurd, they are in better shape than most European countries, just look at the numbers. And their population has endured much less stress. Their children have been able to have pretty normal lives. There clearly is some tension in the country, and pressure on it by other countries, around putting more restrictive measures in place, and some have been put in place, apparently over the objection of the public health authorities. So much for following the science and the experts. The kind of balance which actually considers the interests of the whole population is what should be foremost everywhere, and it would be a shame if Sweden abandoned that notion and if every country doesn’t move more in that direction.
I mentioned that Scott Johnson at the Powerline Blog had to sue to get the DOH to be allowed to participate in briefings and ask questions. The answers to the questions are illuminating. This week, here are some highlights. Scott asked about excess deaths outside of CV-19, which the states and the CDC are doing their best to ensure people don’t see. The state said that while they are doing very rapid reporting of CV-19 deaths, they just couldn’t possibly do the same for other causes of death, it would just take too many resources. Let me rephrase that for DOH–we like to report as many CV-19 deaths as possible, whether they have anything to do with CV-19 or not, as fast as we can to feed hysteria and panic, but we don’t want people to have a clue how many we are killing with our lockdown, school closing and other orders and our general terrorization of the population.
Asked why don’t you report by date of death, here is the non-response response “Our current practice provides the most up-to-date information with the least lag time to help track the course of the epidemic.” What does that have to do with anything. You can report just as fast but maybe give people the actual date of death, so they have a better sense that 101 deaths didn’t actually occur on one date. This is typical gibberish from DOH.
Even worse are the responses on questions about hospitalizations. They claimed not to know a) how many hospitalized people first tested positive in the hospital; b) how many people listed under hospitalized for CV-19 were actually hospitalized for a different reason; or c) how many people acquired CV-19 in the hospital. All lies, they have all of that information, and again, they hide it because it doesn’t fit the doomsday messaging. They also claimed not to know how many people listed as CV-19 hospitalizations died in the hospital.
And here is my favorite bizarro answer. How do you calculate the positivity rate? Answer: “Positivity rate is the percent of tests positive out of the total number of tests.” They then acknowledge that it includes duplicate positives on the same person. So one of the main numbers they claim to be tracking is completely bogus, has nothing to do with actual cases and is grossly overstated. Now tell us how many of the positives are duplicates.
This is simply unbelievable and a reflection of the complete, and I mean really complete, incompetence of the dunces supposedly managing our response to this epidemic. And of course they are led by a head buffoon, a completely clueless, panic-stricken lemming who just does what everyone else does instead of thinking, actually thinking about the consequences of some of his actions. Keep it up Guv, next week we will pass Sweden in per capita deaths and soon Florida, where people live like people and students get to go to real school so they don’t feel like killing themselves.
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Spot on. Our incompetent leader has no clothes. This is getting rediculous and grotesque.
You need to let it out Kevin, don’t keep your feelings bottled up. One thing I noticed in looking at things Swedish is that the Elite League, (hockey) which is playing its games more or less on schedule has not allowed fans. I’ll try and find out whether this is something they’ve done since the beginning of the season, or if it’s recent. My relatives tell me their lives are pretty maskless and normal, but there is increasing propaganda for the authorities to “do something”. I hope they don’t. I’d also mention that my 75 year old cousin in Göteborg continued her breast cancer treatments through the scandemic, so I’m guessing that will positively affect death rates, too
Well, technically speaking, “positivity rate” should be (# tests positive)/(Total # of tests). If you want percentage multiply that by 100. But using “positivity rate” to establish statutory or legal guidelines is bogus. I can increase the positivity rate by not testing anyone but the obviously ill, and I can decrease it by giving lots of tests, especially if I give them to obviously healthy people.
I wonder how loud our overseers would scream if a local health department kept testing the obviously healthy.
Thank you for your work, Kevin. It’s a bright spot of my day to come over and look at actual data analysis.
Similar story here in CA w/our governor, who just locked down further by using the positivity rate & hospitalization percentage. But watching the Rational Ground webinar last night, they pointed out that there were a couple of new metrics in play. 1, Remdesivir was approved on 10/22, and w/its 5-day hospital regimen, when previously the patient might have spent a day or 2 getting symptoms treated and send home. 2, Observational Beds, which are short-term (~8 hours) admittances, are now listed as hospitalizations, when they weren’t previously. This definition change occurred in mid-October. Also remember that there was a fairly recent report from Miami that 50% of their Covid hospitalizations were “incidental, that is, they were at the hospital for some other reason. + seasonality.
Deaths by non-covid causes requires a couple keystrokes by health authorities. They’re stalling now to figure how to cover their tracks when excess deaths numbers like those from the Johns Hopkins analysis finally become public knowledge. Or will that ever happen?
Lighten up on the governor.
“But I did stay in a Holiday Inn……”
And as the ST article a few months ago noted about Kris, “She’s been getting ready for this moment for 20 years.”
Might be a bit off-topic, but I see upper Midwest states are trending down in cases, however deaths in elderly are really going up. Are those all covid related or just with covid? What can we do to protect our nursing homes better? Looking at SD stats. And if people think there is not a mask mandate – there isn’t from state, but mask wearing is as high as anyplace from what I can see.
good questions. Your observation about masks is spot on. Mandates create very limited additional compliance beyond the wearing that already occurs. Deaths lag the turnaround in cases by at least two weeks. I think LTC deaths are high everywhere, these are just very frail, susceptible people and while they have CV-19, any incremental disease burden would likely have been fatal. I think the LTC question is very difficult. Isolating these people, who already tend to have very limited contacts is also deadly to them. They need to be given some choice or say in the balancing between isolation to prevent disease, and having those often last opportunities to see those who matter to them
In Western Mass, EVERYBODY wears a mask. I see dozens of people when I walk my dog around the UMASS football stadium every day, all are masked: yes, outside, by themselves. I only wear mine so as not to get merchants jammed up, and never outside. Lot# of people alone in their Priuses with masks on, too. It’s not a coincidence that Hampshire County, where I live, which includes the college towns of Amherst and Northampton went 80-20 for Slow Joe and Cam.
I think Governor Walz, being a leftist, is not as dunce-like as he appears. He is killing the middle class because that is what Marxists do. It is his ideology. And he is succeeding.
well, I don’t think he is a Marxist and I don’t think he is trying to eliminate the middle class, his actions actually have a disproportionate impact on low-income people. I think he is obsessed with limiting cases and deaths and therefore is completely disregarding all the other harm being done by his actions, which in my opinion is far greater than any harm from CV-19.
From the St. Paul PP article today. “Minnesota has now screened more than 5 million samples for the coronavirus from 2.8 million residents since March when the COVID-19 pandemic began.” Wow! Half are retests and most likely already known COVID positives.