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A Few Comments on Our Data Difficulties

By November 15, 2021Commentary

I don’t want to sound like a whiner, but if the Minnesota DOH would just think about what they are doing, and whether it actually may hurt their messaging, Dave Dixon’s and my life would be a lot easier and the public would have better data and better data analysis.  As you saw when we finally get some kind of reasonable data that we can use to calculate case rates, you see what you would expect–the vaccines are doing a good job in limiting hospitalizations and deaths in the most vulnerable, older groups.  Why make us pull teeth to reach that conclusion?  The data difficulties just lead people to conclude, likely correctly, that DOH is trying to hide something.

And for people who think we should just take DOH’s word for what the data says or rely on things like their per capita data, you are missing the point.  First, there is no reason to accept that the data analysis they put out is completely accurate, too often we see data revisions, missed data, other inaccuracies.  In regard to breakthroughs, for example, it appears that different amounts of time are spend on identifying breakthroughs every week, and that  accounts for much of the variability in events reported from week to week.  When the data gets pretty complete, the trend is quite clear.  (I am tired and forgot the following points in the original of the post.). And just in the past week, DOH has acknowledged they were having difficulty in timely processing of cases, and today they couldn’t get deaths processed for the daily report.  So I doubt the breakthrough identification process or data are particularly clean.

But most importantly, any truly open society gives its citizens access to data so the citizens can check it and the conclusions drawn from it.  Many times, not surprisingly, their are private citizens who may be more skilled with data analysis than state employees are.  The state should seek and welcome collaboration with these individuals but instead tends to try to shut them out or undermine their work.  Dave and I aren’t the only people working on Minnesota data, a number of other people are doing great work and you can generally find them on Twitter.

I have mentioned the data practices act requests I have sitting at the state.  Unfortunately I have concluded that DOH is intentionally treating my requests differently and dragging their feet.  So I have engaged with the Upper Midwest Legal Center to help obtain the data.  This is an organization which frequently fights against government wrongdoing and I encourage you to donate to aid in their work.  I have made very substantial donations to the group.  And I have asked them to make a new data practices act request to ascertain if the state is intentionally responding to my requests in a dilatory fashion.

As any of you who interact with me know, I generally try to get along with people, be helpful, be responsive to questions and requests, but I am also kind of the wrong person to pick a fight with if I feel strongly about something, and I feel very strongly about the rights of all Minnesotans to see all the relevant data around the epidemic.

Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Dan Riser says:

    So then hospitals are not telling the truth about capacity. When I had my heart surgery they almost didnt allow my surgery because they were already complaining about capacity. That was late August. A nurse told me it was because how the hospitals had to shut down tests and surgeries and now people are all coming back to get things done they should have had done over a year ago. The tyrant didnt do us any favors but they are still using covid as the problem. I am sure they have empty beds but now they dont have the staffing…

    • Kevin Roche says:

      I think as others have suggested a lot of it is staffing and a lot of those issues are caused by vaccine mandates.

  • Stacey Atneosen says:

    Thank you for your persistence.

  • James Zuck says:

    This is off topic on this post but I believe it would be of interest of people who follow this forum.
    Matthew Memoli, a 16-year veteran at the NIH, will argue against vaccine mandates in a scheduled Dec. 1 live-streamed roundtable session over the ethics of vaccines mandates. Matthew Memoli favors vaccinations in vulnerable populations but argues population level vaccination could hinder the development of a natural, robust immunity gained through infection. Which is what Geert Vanden Bossche from Belgium is concerned about.
    Does anybody know how one can access a live stream out of the NIH? I found the NIH video cast site, NIH VideoCasting – Upcoming Events
    but I do not find it listed on the agenda.

  • Debbie M says:

    Here’s an interesting article on the negative vaccine effectiveness….not sure what to think, but gives me pause.

    You’re a bulldog, Kevin. And we all appreciate it!

  • J. Thomas says:

    The data that’s being ‘shared’ with the public has to protect the financial and tyrannical aspects of the ‘pandemic theatre’. As demonstrated with JG’s post, via shifting of data dates in the spreadsheets, any spin is possible with manipulation techniques. There is far too much coordination of national activities, reporting structures, stalling, canned messaging and non-sensical info to ever be able to make any serious health decisions from it.

    The yeoman’s work KR and his team are doing is commendable. Each state should have such a wonderful advocate fighting this same fight. At the end of the day however, this is really not a respiratory virus we’re dealing with, but a cancer. It’s a malignancy of a government captured by the ideologies of fanatical despotic groups. When they start to use ‘Big Bird’ to promote an experimental vaccine on our children, you know your dealing with the sickest of minds.

  • Wendy says:

    I found this interesting Op Ed for a MA paper that postulates that the “over run” narrative is due to $$$ I am sure we are all shocked. I think it is a reasonable theory

    “One reason, I guess, is that it is good financial grift to tell the Federal government that your hospital is overrun with COVID. You simply get paid more for it than a hospital overrun with broken arms and heart attacks.”

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