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Data Practices Act Requests

By September 17, 2021Commentary

To prevent the government from hiding from citizens important information, the federal and state governments have a variety of freedom of information acts, which allow people to request documents and information.  Governments are given a bunch of exemptions which they use liberally to hide what they don’t want the public to see.  Minnesota’s version is called the Data Practices Act.  I have made a series of requests because the state likes to be selective in its disclosure and because it is too dumb to know what good public communication would look like.  The requests are copied below and as you can see focus on some sensitive topics like masks, schools, reinfections, breakthrough infections.  I am not hopeful I will get full disclosure, but gotta try.

YOU CAN HELP.  If you or someone you know has been involved in trying to get CV-19 info from the state, like the youth sports group, and some school groups, and got some documents, let me know.  I am trying to figure out how to verify that they are disclosing what they should.  And if you know someone who works at the health department, encourage them to be a whistleblower if they know about documents or communications responsive to these requests that aren’t being turned over.  Also going to work on legislators to ask for the same info.  We need and are entitled to full and accurate information and we aren’t getting it.

If anyone at the Health Department is reading this, let me assure you that if I don’t think I get full and complete data, I will sue you to force disclosure.   So here are the requests:This request is made to receive copies of all documents, whether written, electronic or in other form, relating to hospitalizations of children for coronavirus, SARS CV 2019. In recent weeks, the Department of Health has repeatedly quoted statistics claiming that the rate of hospitalizations among CV 2019 cases in children is higher now than it was in the fall. Provide all databases, documents, communications, analyses, studies which support these statements, redacting personal information regarding the cases, but providing age, date of admission, length of stay and all other information regarding these hospitalizations. Provide these documents for the entire course of the epidemic, but identify with specificity those documents which support the statements made by the DOH representatives and employees.

  1. Provide all information and documents, including databases, on any child hospitalization for CV 2019 that relates to other diagnoses at the time of admission, including diagnoses for other respiratory viruses, particularly RSV, and give the number of cases in which CV-19 was actually the primary admission diagnosis. A number of studies and stories have shown that there is an off-season spike of RSV in many states, including Minnesota, and that many hospitalizations supposedly for CV-19, are not actually for treatment of that disease but for RSV and other diagnoses. Studies have shown also that for pediatric hospitalizations, 40% of those attributed to CV-19 in official statistics, were not admissions for CV-19, but there was merely an incidental positive test. Provide all documents of any type which discuss diagnoses other than CV-19 in pediatric hospitalizations attributed to CV-19 in the state’s statistics, and any communications or documents which discuss in any manner the presence of those other diagnoses and how those should or should not be communicated.Also provide any documents relating to discussions or communications with any person on the topic of how and when hospitalizations among children should be disclosed to the public, what data relating to these hospitalizations should be disclosed, including those documents relating to any messaging or messages to the public around such disclosure, including regarding the purpose or intent of such messaging.
  2. This request is made to receive copies of all documents, whether written, electronic or in other form, relating to reinfections, that is a second (including a third or whatever number) infection of coronavirus SARS 2019 following an initial infection, as the state defines a reinfection.  In particular provide any databases provide the date each such reinfection occurred, as the state does for all infections in the Table of Cases by Date of Specimen Collection, the age of the person who incurred the reinfection, the length of time from the date of full vaccination to the date the reinfection was incurred, whether the person was hospitalized as a result of such reinfection (including as the department has previously disclosed, whether the hospitalization was primarily for the purpose of treating the reinfection or for another primary purpose), and whether the person died as a result of the  reinfection.
    Also provide copies of any documents relating the analysis or study of reinfections by the department of health.
    Also provide any documents relating to discussions or communications with any person on the topic of how and when reinfections should be disclosed to the public, what data relating to the reinfections should be disclosed, including those documents relating to any messaging or messages to the public around such disclosure.
  3. This request is made to receive copies of all documents, whether written, electronic or in other form, relating to studies or analyses of face masks as used for the purpose of preventing coronavirus (SARS-2019) transmission, including but not limited to any study or analysis done by or for the state relating to face masks for such purpose.
    This request includes all documents related to the mask study which the department of health referenced conducting in late summer of 2020 and which it later in the fall said it had stopped because it was “inconclusive”.  The documents requested include those written by or to any person, within or outside the department of health, which relate to mask studies and to that summer of 2020 mask study in particular, including any documents relating to communications with the Governor’s office, legislators, the media or any other person.
    The documents requested also include any documents that relate to the topic of what messages, and how those messages, should be conveyed to the public regarding the wearing of face masks.
  4. The request is made to receive copies of all documents, whether written, electronic or in other form, relating to any communications of any type which any person in the Department of Health, the Governor’s office or any other state agency, department or body has had with any outside group or individual in regard to actions or policies regarding schools and coronavirus SARS 2019, and in particular to any communications with teachers’ unions or any other group or individual purporting to represent teachers, school administrators or school boards.  The request also includes any documents which relate to any of these communications, including any discussions of how to respond to such communications.
  5. This request is made to receive copies of all documents, whether written, electronic or in other form, relating to breakthrough infections, that is infections of the coronavirus SARS 2019 following full vaccination against infections of such virus.  In particular provide any databases (personal identifying information may obviously be removed) or documents or communications which provide the date each such infection occurred, as the state does for all infection in the Table of Cases by Date of Specimen Collection, the age of the person who incurred the breakthrough infection, the length of time from the date of full vaccination to the date the breakthrough infection was incurred, whether the person was hospitalized as a result of such infection (including as the department has previously disclosed, whether the hospitalization was primarily for the purpose of treating the infection or for another primary purpose), and whether the person died as a result of the breakthrough infection.
    Also provide copies of any documents relating to the analysis or study of breakthrough infections by the department of health.
    Also provide any documents relating to discussions or communications with any person on the topic of how and when breakthrough infections should be disclosed to the public, what data relating to the breakthrough infections should be disclosed, including those documents relating to any messaging or messages to the public around such disclosure.
  6. This request is made to receive copies of all documents, whether written, electronic or in other form, relating to the attribution of hospitalizations and deaths to coronavirus SARS 2019.  In particular, the state has stated several times that half of hospitalizations related to “breakthrough” infections that are reported as CV-19 hospitalizations in the state’s data on the coronavirus epidemic were not actually admissions for treatment of CV-19 disease but for another reason and the positive CV-19 test was only incidental to the admission.  The same data must be available in regard to all hospitalizations attributed by the state to CV-19, so provide any data, database, study, analysis or other documents which relate to the number and/or proportion of hospitalizations, and deaths, attributed by the state, in total, and in non-breakthrough infections, which were actually for treatment of CV-19 disease and what number and/or proportion of hospitalizations and deaths CV-19 was merely an incidental diagnosis.  Also provide any documents on the number of hospitalizations attributed to CV-19 in which the person contracted the infection in the hospital.

    Also provide any documents relating to discussions or communications with any person on the topic of how and what aspects of hospitalizations and deaths attributed to CV-19 should be disclosed to the public, including those documents relating to any messaging or messages to the public around such disclosure.

 

 

Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • Matt md says:

    You go Kevin! As a physician I feel more and more pressure to conformity. Keep fighting for the truth!

  • J. Thomas says:

    Thanks for going on offense Kevin. Would you also consider going after the root of the problem as well? Although great topics, these are all consequences of the process.

    7. Any and all communications from 1/1/2019 to date between the federal agencies, state and local governments and hospital administrations regarding C19 communications and protocols about:

    How to determine and account for cases.
    Treatment limitations.
    Marketing/messaging campaigns.

  • Godoggo says:

    Kevin,

    I want to thank you for the daily effort you go through in analyzing the data on the “coof” in MN. I retired from the military after 21 years of service, providing anesthesia in Just Cause and Desert Shield/Desert Storm. In the latter deployment our Forward Surgical Team was required to take Vacc A (documented on my military shot record) with the in-theater threat of Anthrax being deployed. I didn’t have a choice taking the experimental vaccine then and thought it would be bad form not to accept it as an officer as well- we were actually at war then.
    The current experimental “flu shot” we were being asked to take, now demanded in certain sectors, seems beyond reasonable (likely illegal) as data from across the world (Israel, England, Scotland) appears to question the efficacy of the “flu shot” longterm…so much so that the CDC altered its definition of vaccine. Vaccine hesitancy seems reasonable and understandable at the moment for many who don’t have comorbidities and other high risk factors such as age.
    I know you are numbers guy and I truly appreciate your dogged pursuit of truth in the numbers. And though the following article is an opinion piece, I thought you may find it interesting none-the-less. “The appearance of The Lancet article by two top FDA vaccine scientists is truly devastating and revealing because it undermines the last plausible tool to save the whole machinery of government disease management that has been deployed at such enormous social, cultural, and economic cost for 19 months.”
    Again, thank you for your service in attempting to obtain transparency from your states’ government on SARS-Cov-19.
    https://brownstone.org/articles/the-meaning-of-the-fda-resignations/

  • Abhijit Bakshi says:

    Matt md, I agree. We are all in Kevin’s debt for him stepping up the fight. Kevin, thank you.

    @Matt, I understand how much physicians are under. I know it’s incredibly stressful but it is vitally important that you hold the line. Do not compromise. We can’t subcontract all of our battles out to Kevin or we will lose. We all have to stand together.

    (And none of this bullshit standing together by standing as far apart as physically possible. Stand together by all standing up, together.)

    We can put an end to this insanity before it is too late, but it requires all of us to do our part. And honest, ethical, moral, courageous physicians and nurses, are a vital part.

  • Abhijit Bakshi says:

    8. The contracts by the state, or any agent of the state, with Pfizer, Moderna, and the other vaccine manufacturers in particular:
    – the price paid per dose of the vaccine;
    – any representations, or explicit refusal to make representations, about the efficacy of the vaccines;
    – any representations, or explicit refusal to make representations, about the short-term side effects of the vaccines;
    – any representations, or explicit refusal to make representations, about the long-term side effects of the vaccines;
    – any indemnity or other waiver of rights to pursue the vaccine manufacturer for injuries caused or not prevented by the vaccines; and
    – any clause concerning or related in any way to alternative treatments.

    9. The contracts or agreements under which the manufacturers, or the state, or any agent of the manufacturers or of the state, distributes vaccine doses to distribution centres such as hospitals.

  • Arne C says:

    Re #4, I’d like to find out how many students have been consulted by the authorities, at all levels of government, about the entire range of lockdown policies.

  • John Oh says:

    Process comments. As I recall, the data practices act has no time requirement for a response. This is unlike every other state. It might be good to separate the requests into separate elements one asking for all studies, reports analysis etc and another for emails and correspondence type stuff. They should be able to get the reports type stuff together in a couple days. It should be like taking books from a shelf. Communications type things take longer — it requires searches of emails (not always well executed) and logged correspondence then someone will need to go through them and redact stuff protected by the act. It might also be good to figure out the leadership of the teachers unions and include a request for communications by name in case they use email accounts that are personal and avoided words that would turn up in key word searches. If you reframe your request consider adding language that asks for each element requested as it becomes available rather than waiting until the entire request has been processed. The reports and database documents should arrive a lot sooner and you can begin to take a look. I’ve never submitted a request in Minnesota, but I’ve submitted them in many other states. If you want to see a good open records act, look at Florida or Texas. I’ve given up asking for things from the Federal government.

  • Joe says:

    Perhaps contact Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch. He and his team are experts at FOIA

  • Kevin Roche says:

    sent you an email, great suggestions and I could use help, both from a time and expertise perspective

  • Kevin Roche says:

    thank you for reading and for the information

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