The other CV-19 briefing I should comment on, however briefly, is the November 30th one, which was a deep dive into the data, or so we were told by the IB. Diving into what exactly wasn’t clear, although based on my experience with the data it likely smells and is brownish. Kind of like falling through a porta-potty, I would think. The IB said we have, quote “the best, most useful and transparent data”. The fact that he either believes that or even says it may reflect how clueless he is about what actually is useful to look at.
Here, once again, item by item, is how crappy the Minnesota data is and how hard it is to figure things out, including one very important whole area that we hear nothing on. And let us be very clear, all this data is in the possession of the state or would be very easy to gather.
Testing–no information on the spread of cycle numbers for PCR tests, because, we have been told, they aren’t available. Apparently no provision of cycle numbers to treating physicians, either then? No studies of lab variation, no studies on false positives, no studies on relationship of cycle number to virus viability. No disclosure of cycle number by lab–hospitals, independents, the state lab, etc. Physicians need cycle numbers to aid in treatment decisions. We need to see a distribution of cycle numbers so we know how many “low” positives there are. We need a study of false positive rates, ideally by lab. We need virus viability studies so we know when someone is actually likely to be infectious. Positivity rate is calculated in a way that exaggerates the number of positive cases. Retests on the same person should be taken out. Positivity rates without adjustment or explanation of false and low positives are misleading and not useful.
Contact tracing–pretty useless when your testing is probably reporting at least half non-infectious positives. But give us some detailed information on the process and the results, not broad categorizations with no explanation. And explain to us why you can’t find the source of transmission of even half of cases, not even close to that. Yet you use this data to shut down businesses and activities.
Cases–why no presentation of active cases? Most important number for understanding current course of epidemic? Why no clear presentation of cases every day for the day they actually relate to? Making people hunt to figure out what day cases actually occur on gives a misleading picture of the epidemic, particularly given the impact of weekday versus weekend and testing variability due to strategy/location and other changes. Why no constant antibody and other testing to identify true prevalence? That also is critical information.
Hospitalizations–probably the worst area. Still make it hard to track daily census, discharges, and length of stay. No information on number of people admitted for another reason but having a positive CV-19 test before or at time of admission. These people likely are never treated for CV-19 in the hospital, so why are they being counted as CV-19 admissions. No information on how many people got the infection in the hospital. No information on observation stays or on stays driven by remdesivir use. No context for the public on typical hospital capacity utilization. No metrics on hospital days per case unit or trend in that number. No information on mortality among hospitalized patients. No information on readmissions.
Deaths–why do you continue to not use date of death reporting? It is right on the certificate and would be far less misleading. Routinely tell us place of death statistics. Routinely tell us what % of supposed deaths have CV-19 as the ultimate underlying cause, what % is it in the intermediate chain, and what % of the time is it just a contributing factor. Did you engage in death certificate matching, in which you took death certificates and attempted to match them to positive CV-19 tests from weeks or months earlier. Do a chart review to determine how often CV-19 was actually clinically relevant to death. How many of the deaths were of people with advanced directives which precluded hospitalization or other intensive treatment.
And here is the whole area with basically nothing. What harms are being done by the executive orders and the campaign of terror?
What has happened with suicides?
What has happened with mental health visits?
What has happened with drug and alcohol abuse and overdoses?
What is the trend in domestic and child abuse and can you even track with schools and health care shut down?
What has happened to preventive health care visits?
What has happened to disease screenings?
What has happened with vaccinations?
What has happened with visits for care for chronic diseases?
Show us non-CV-19 deaths, by age, by major cause and by place of death. Show how those deaths compare to prior years’ averages.
Show us the impact on students of not being able to attend real, in-person school. What are rates of non-attendance? What has happened to academic performance?
How many jobs lost?
How many businesses gone?
And for each of these, who is most affected, by income, ethnicity or other relevant category.