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A Few Numbers and Some Minnesota Nonsense

By February 2, 2021Commentary

A quick update on Minnesota’s deaths, woefully misattributed to CV-19 as they are.  6202 total deaths, 3930 in long-term care facilities.  The best estimates are that there were about 80,000 residents in those facilities.  So the fatality rate was 4.9% of all LTC residents.  For the rest of the population the fatality rate is .04%.  So the relative risk is 122 times greater for a long-term care resident.  To be clear for every one person who dies in the general population, 122 die in long term care.  Yet we didn’t absolutely ensure that every dose of vaccine went to them first.  And we are limiting what the rest of the population does when their risk of serious illness and death is basically non-existent.

You get the same kind of spread when you look at age.  5092 of the deaths have occurred in those 70 or over, that population group has 706,000 members in Minnesota, so the fatality rate is .72%.  On the other end, for people under 40 there have been 72 deaths.  There are 2,871,000 of this group, or over half the state population.  Fatality rate is a vanishingly small .oo2%.  Let me be sure you understand, that is 2 one-thousands of a percent.  Relative risk is 360 times.  Again, so for every person under 40 who dies supposedly from CV-19, 360 people over 80 die.  Even worse, 3769 of the deaths are in those 80 or over, that is 60% of all deaths.  There are only 265,600 people in this age group in the state.  Their fatality rate is 1.4%.  That is right, we have killed 1.4% of all the state residents over 80.  Under 30 year olds number 2,106,000.  They represent a whopping 45 deaths.  Fatality rate–also rounds to that .002%.  Relative rate now, 700 to one.  But yes, let’s lock up all the under 30 year olds, keep them out of school, depress the hell out of them, because we can’t figure out how to keep older people, who generally don’t have much life expectancy left, safe.

Dr. Osterdoom is enjoying his new national prominence and using it to promulgate as much panic as possible, now saying the next few weeks will be a Category 5 hurricane of CV-19 cases.  He might be right, but it is highly, highly unlikely.  He hasn’t been right about anything yet.  But scaring people baselessly is definitely wrong.

Here in Minnesota we continue to deal with the constant incompetence of the vaccine rollout, and a refusal to fully open all schools to in-person, also known as real, education, if that is what you call the indoctrination delivered by the public schools.  This notwithstanding the fact that there are basically no cases in the state, especially if you consider the testing volume and the likelihood of false positives in that low prevalence environment.

Scott Johnson, from the Powerline blog, continues to get nonsense answers from the state to his questions, with occasional revealing nuggets.  Here is the most important thing from the last couple of question sets.  Scott asked about the mask case control study that they supposedly were doing in the late summer/early fall.  “We began with a small pilot study that was very limited and inconclusive.  We didn’t have the resources to look at mask efficacy or use through a case control study.”  And then they say that, well there is plenty of evidence already that they work.  And it isn’t our mission to do primary research.  Lies, Lies, Lies.  They do other research related to CV-19, they have plenty of resources for what would cost a couple of hundred thousand dollars, at most.  Here is the real interpretation:  the early results showed masks didn’t make any difference so we abandoned the research because it wasn’t consistent with our beliefs or our messaging.

On a question about making student athletes wear masks in competition while the pros don’t, they gave a truly laughable answer about pros being employees.  What difference could that possibly make, you have mandated that every other employee wear masks in their workplace.  I mean seriously, how can they say this stuff.  And they just stonewalled another modeling question.  I want everyone to understand, however, that the state spent several million dollars on a model that was completely wrong, didn’t even apparently bother to try to figure out why it was wrong and left itself with no working model that should have anticipate the fall surge and at least come close to predicting what it would look like.

The answers to the three most recent questions were all just non-answers, the state apparently feels emboldened now to just ignore Scott.  They refused to save if they agree or disagreed with Biden’s assertion that nothing could be done to change the epidemic trajectory; they refused to explain their dismal vaccine rollout, and they stonewalled the question about reaction to the WHO warning on PCR tests.  So much for following the data or the science and being transparent with the public.

Yesterday’s briefing was mostly more excuses for the botched vaccine rollout, with continued website problems and the state finally realizing that maybe we should give the vaccine to the providers and let them get it to patients.  The states with very high dose usage have been doing this from the start.  A question was asked about comparisons to Wisconsin, which has had fewer restrictions than Minnesota throughout the epidemic, and which is very analogous in terms of population and demographics.  The answer was evasive, but they did say that our case trajectory came down faster.  That is not true.  Here are the facts, according to Worldometers, Minnesota has 82,014 cases per million people and 1112 deaths per million.  Wisconsin had 93,088 cases per million but only 1013 deaths.  Minnesota has a far higher testing rate.  It obviously has a much higher case rate of deaths and a somewhat higher per capita rate.  So if you want to draw any conclusions from that, if you are concerned about keeping people from dying, don’t do what Minnesota has done.  And look at the case curves on Worldometers or any other site and explain to me how you could possibly conclude that cases came down faster in Minnesota.

Another question was asked, in a somewhat bizarre manner, about people dying after receiving the vaccine and whether that was really due to the vaccine and is the Department doing messaging to reassure people.  The Department said that the vaccines were thoroughly tested for safety before approval and there was no evidence of deaths being related to getting the vaccine.  I would not discourage people from getting the vaccine.  But, we should be honest.  The trials done for the vaccines were limited and rushed.  The same level of FDA oversight was not applied.  The trials did not test large numbers of the elderly or pregnant women or other sub-groups, so there is no data on safety for those groups.  The degree of safety studies should not be overstated.  There are a few warning signs.  Norway stopped vaccinating the frail elderly because of a large number of deaths after receipt of the vaccine, which probably aren’t related, but certainly bears investigating.  There have been reports of miscarriages in pregnant women, so Moderna has recommended they not be vaccinated for now.  So while we want people vaccinated to help limit transmission, they are also entitled to full disclosure of risks and information.

And the Osterholm-like Commissioner of Health continued to with no evidence try to terrify people by saying there continues to be a high level of cases in the state and that justifies continuing to restrict activities.  That is just ridiculous.  We literally have almost no cases in the state and I guarantee you that if we saw the cycle number distribution, a huge percent of those few cases that exist would have high cycle numbers.  And the voluble but ignorant head of infectious disease mentioned variants as a reason for further fear.   So really more of the same from the start from Minnesota, incompetence, fear mongering, inability to gather, interpret or share relevant data.


Join the discussion 14 Comments

  • Karl Nyhus says:

    Just an outstanding summary of where we find ourselves today!

  • MP Goergen says:

    Great information on this post (I wish we hospitalization rates by age group to reference). It’s clear that for people without specific health issues, this is no more than the flu. Though in conversations I’ve had, a good number of people are convinced COVID is equivalent to Ebola, yet when confronted by the data demonstrating it’s not, still think everyone “could” die. The same can be said of mask data demonstrating that masks don’t have an impact. This has got to be a product of the media pushing fear.

    Regarding the mask mandate for school athletes, it important to note there have been zero deaths in this age bracket. What I’d like to know is how does reduced ability to breath impact the heart and brain during strenuous activity. My daughter plays varsity sports. I’ve already see more injuries to athletes because they can’t properly warm up before a game, and a season of less than ideal oxygen intake, game after game, cannot be good for them. Given COVID is less dangerous than the seasonal flu to these students, what is the reasoning behind “play with masks”? There is no data even remotely supporting it.

  • MIKE TIMMER says:

    Something that has not received any attention is the progressive knowledge of early ambulatory treatment for those who have the symptoms of the virus. It has been squelched by almost every media sight. There are doctors and their professional organization such as the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (think AMA) who have successfully treated patients with ever refined combinations of common drugs under individual supervision which have yielded broad anecdotal evidence of significant universal application. There are more than a few countries in this world that supply newly identified and qualified covid patients with prophylactic kits to be used in lieu of hospitalization. You can search Dr. Peter McCollough for extensive written and video in regard to this, go directly to AASP. There has been an unreasonable and obvious malevolent bias against against all of this frontline practice of medicine.

  • Rob says:

    I think I am going to start using a new curse: “May you be a patient of socialized medicine.”

  • Chuck says:

    Thank you for breaking down the press conference! I hear these questions – answers and have to go back to listen to the question again as the answers make no sense. I’m glad these ladies continue holding these press conferences. They confirm how incompetent they truly are!

  • Kurt Anderson says:

    In the 0.002% is where we find the freshwater drowning covid deaths and the ejected from motor vehicle covid deaths? Not until the DCs are audited and corrected should the death numbers be even given digital ink.
    We’re so tired of more numbers, knowing they are based on LIES

  • Duluth Guy says:

    The best and most cost effective thing anyone can do to prevent getting sick from COVID-19 (and many other viruses) is to take a 5,000 IU pill of Vitamin D daily. It costs less than $10 for a supply that’ll last the entire winter and at worst is going to do no harm. Sure, if you’re older and have a compromised immune system, you’ll want to do more but this will help in the vast majority of situations.

    The mask hysteria is downright depressing. Athletes (who by definition likely have much stronger immune systems than than regular HS students) being forced to wear masks defies any and all common sense. It’s like the Governor and health department are trying to see what they can get away with as it’s beyond absurd. When I showed to to ski at our local ski hill, I was told it’s state law that you must wear a mask while riding the chairlift and while waiting in line for the chairlift. This is for outdoor activities in the winter. Luckily I rediscovered Mont du Lac this year, which is technically in Wisconsin even though one has to take Minnesota roads to get there. The staff is much more friendly over there and they have much better service than Spirit Mountain, even if the hill is a bit shorter.

    Another depressing fact that’s come to pass is how little backbone the state Republican Party has in Minnesota. They should be out in public every day going after Walz on this, especially masks in high school sports. I guarantee 80% of the public is with them. The fact that they haven’t removed Jan Malcolm from her position yet is depressing. They should easily have the votes, as I’m sure Bakk and Tomassoni would vote with them if a Republican or two defected. We need to be on offense and make every Democrat guilty by association on the mask issue.

  • rub says:

    So if you are a Minnesotan under age 70 and not in Long Term Care, the odds of you having died from this plague are approx 1 out of 5,000.

  • Ganderosn says:

    I heard a radio PSA yesterday saying that we should wear TWO MASKS, AT ALL TIMES, when outside the home. As sorry as I feel for those of you suffering under Gauleiter Walz in my home state of MN; I think our own Charlie Parker here in MA is worse.

  • Several points here. First, the AAPS has absolutely nothing to do with the AMA is actually an organization of independent physicians who have been fighting third-party payer monopoly and indoctrination for 30 years or more. As a matter of fact, they are the polar opposites of the AMA. I am a member of the former organization.

    Secondly, above “Duluth Guy” reiterates what everyone should know now: a handful of micronutrients beginning with vitamin D effectively limit morbidity. The science is extremely good, no risk, very inexpensive, and utterly unknown among the general medical citizenry due to the incompetence of our public health and medical leadership.

    Now, the rapidly emerging evidence going back nine months that ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, and nasal carrageenan effectively quash the virus would end the epidemic in a matter of weeks if these tools were adopted for early illness along with the micronutrient or “resilience factors”. Again, absolutely none of this is finding its way into the public narrative. It’s not simply negligent, it’s downright evil.

    I would disagree with our notable Kevin here that efforts to “limit transmission” have failed miserably, and the effectively untested gene therapy masquerading as a vaccine is not going to do any better. The efficacy in terms of producing an IgG response is also masquerading as “immunization” which it most definitely is not. It is far more likely that actually getting the illness with a healthy immune system supported by the effective use of ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, and high-dose “pulses” of vitamin D, zinc, selenium, and vitamin C would be a much better strategy and confer true immunity unlike anything any vaccine, much less experimental gene therapy, could ever accomplish.

    The total absence of any type of information campaign on the part of public health officials to promote these very effective tools is extraordinarily revealing that our government and medical Swamp have absolutely no interest in the public health.

    I am currently out of the country and watching the devastation that the Xyden administration is wreaking on tourist economies as a result of the enhancement of testing rules as well as quarantines for one to get in and out of the country. Believe me, in two short weeks this administration is completely alienated Mexico and Central America. There is no one here – it is a ghost town.

    The statistical risks cited above as regards Minnesotans over age 70 are also inflated. Quite elderly people in my own medical practice have survived this virus by following some very simple guidelines for resilience and treatment. In other words, this is a faux pandemic that is currently being perpetrated by powers that also knew how to fix social media, 95% of mainstream media, and voting machines.

  • Rob says:

    In response to Foley…

    I interviewed at AMA 30 years ago for an IT job. That was only one of two job interviews I ever had in my life that I had to resist the urge to get up and leave in the middle of it. The staff was whiny and arrogant. Their arrogance was only surpassed by their ignorance. It became clear that it was a reflection of their corporate culture. I simply had never seen a staff more interested in NOT solving problems. The AMA’s main function is medical malpractice insurance and it was obvious that their culture reflected the attitude of infallibility. This is why Fauci, Osterholm, etc. have zero humility.

  • Duluth Guy says:

    Christopher M Foley MD ABIM, quick question for you. Besides Vitamin D, which other micronutrients do you recommend taking during the winter months? I’ve taken Vitamin D daily from December-March daily (I usually start every other day in November and then ween off of them with every other day in April) for years and I don’t think ever gotten sick while doing so.

  • Chris Foley MD says:

    Duluth Guy: sorry for the delay. Read my blog from last February here:

  • Duluth Guy says:

    Chris Foley MD, thanks for the link. Good read.

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