It is been a while since I have issued this parental warning, but THIS POST CONTAINS SIGNIFICANT RANTING. DON’T READ FURTHER IF YOU ARE EASILY TRIGGERED.
In case you think the IB has just done a great job handling the epidemic with no adverse effects, look at what his school closures and terror campaign have done to Minnesota’s children. (Strib Story) That is what triggered me to write this post. We literally drove children insane and then we don’t have a plan for caring for them, when the need was totally predictable based on the closures and terror campaign. Criminal and someone needs to investigate. Can we get Keith Ellison to spend the same amount of money and time he spends prosecuting cops to look into this criminal abuse of children? We have almost five times the number of children in 2020 compared to the prior year who needed inpatient care because of suicidal issues or severe mental health breakdowns. This is on you, little Timmy Walz, you absolutely despicable, cowardly weasel, who sold your soul and children’s lives to the teachers’ unions for a few million dollars.
In about 18 months this clown is going to be asking us to re-up him for his job. I am going to spend a lot of money making sure that doesn’t happen. He will be trying to claim that he did a magnificent job of keeping Minnesotans safe and balancing interests and needs. We have all heard him spread that malarkey repeatedly. So let me remind you of the truth.
And be aware that he will be talking about his handling of the epidemic because he is an absolute disaster on everything else. Crime is up dramatically, especially in minority areas. Educational achievement is way down. Spending is high and would be even higher if the Republicans in the Senate weren’t there to put some limits on it. A lot of that spending is wasted and goes to fraud in social programs and unemployment. Hard to know how much is wasted because his administration, and his attorney general, the aforementioned completely incompetent Keith Ellison, don’t even try to find it. What is another billion of your money pissed away here or there.
His first and worst mistake was to take upon his own weak shoulders the sole responsibility for deciding how to respond, by invoking and not yet giving up, after more than a year, emergency powers that were never intended for this purpose. And then, having taken up those unilateral powers, what did the IB do? He just looked around and followed the herd–oh, everybody else is locking down, we should too. No thoughtfulness about alternatives, no examination of past practices in epidemics, just a knee-jerk shut everything down, partly because China did it. China!?! Seriously, that is your exemplar? The alternative would have been to form a group to work with the legislature and a wide spectrum of voices from outside the government to develop a variety of alternatives and ensure good decision-making processes. And then this irresponsible jackass, when he starts to get pushback, doesn’t accept responsibility for decisions that he is making, he blames the “virus”. The virus ate my homework became one of his standard lines.
Let us examine some of the IB’s greatest hits. We are going to follow the data and science, like hiring the Z team from the University of Minnesota to build a model to help us understand the likely course of the epidemic and the potential effect of mitigation measures. The Z team was only off by a factor of ten, but its apocalyptic predictions were used to support closing schools and businesses and closing off health care and a terror campaign that continues to this day. The terrorization of the public about the danger they were exposed to is the single worst aspect of the IB’s epidemic response. It is not based on data at all and it has led to a large segment of the population developing a phobia about everyday living activities. And the modeling is what fed that “Oh my God, we are all going to die” mentality.
Then we close the schools and don’t let children engage in any social, athletic or other activities or even see their friends. The impact on minority children in particular has been devastating. Large numbers have essentially given up on schools and for some older children this has led to participation in gang and criminal activities. The article that leads this post reflects the natural consequences of these actions, which were taken despite ample evidence at the time and continuing today that children have extremely low, vanishingly low risk, of serious disease and don’t play a major role in transmission.
Along the way we waste millions of dollars pursuing unneeded ventilators, which actually assist in killing people, and millions more on a building to store all the bodies the multi-million dollar model predicted would be stacking up around the state. God knows how much we have spent on an absurd testing strategy. Test everyone every day, using tests that are incapable of telling you if a person is actually infectious and generate lots of false positives that waste contact tracers time.
And then we get to the mass(k) delusion. At this point anyone with a brain can see that masks have made zero difference. We are still awaiting the week when we have fewer cases than we did before the mask mandate was enacted. They clearly made a huge difference during the fall/winter wave. Interesting how they are supposedly as good as vaccines, but vaccines had an immediately noticeable impact on the epidemic course and masks don’t appear to have made a dent in cases. Think we will see a surge in cases now that mask wearing is plummeting and contacts rising?
Did I mention that it was apparent from the start of the epidemic that CV-19 caused serious illness primarily among the elderly and especially residents of long-term care facilities? Not a mystery to anyone, so of course the IB had a plan to limit the impact on these residents, right? Not really, Minnesota consistently had one of the highest proportions of deaths among its long-term care residents. The battle plan to limit the damage was rolled out with great fanfare and made no difference. In the meantime, however, we did keep these poor people near the end of their lives from being able to visit with family and friends, so even more died from isolation and “failure to thrive”.
We heard a lot about balancing various needs, but that never happened. Businesses were shut down willy-nilly, hundreds of thousands of jobs lost, thousands of businesses gone for good–someone’s dream that ended, patients missed needed health care, more drug and alcohol related deaths, child and domestic abuse increases, and on and on. No balance at all, just futile and unsuccessful attempts to prevent one more case or death.
So what did the IB do well? Messaging. He and his team, aided by a compliant media, spent a lot of time figuring out what words would best mislead and mis-inform the public. Lockdowns became the “pause”. We routinely were guilted about how our actions were causing others to die. We were constantly told how dangerous and unsafe it was, to justify these extreme actions of the IB. We constantly heard about the science and data that were guiding all his actions, but glimpses behind the scene, as with youth sport restrictions, reveal it to all be about messaging.
So let us collectively commit ourselves to constant revelation of the truth about how poorly the IB has handled the epidemic response and what the economic, social, health and educational consequences have been. And God help us if we have to endure four more years of this anti-leadership.