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A Brief Update on My Struggle to Get the State to Give the Citizens Information

By January 27, 2022Commentary

I filed a number of Data Practices Act requests with the state, specifically the DOH, in September seeking information on critical topics like the value of masking, incidental hospitalizations, reinfections and breakthroughs, but most importantly on the state’s messaging around these issues.  (Those requests are all available in a post I published at that time.)  The state has completely stonewalled providing any responsive documents.  They have instead given me hundreds of pages of “filler”, useless documents that make me waste time looking at garbage that isn’t really relevant.  Two of my requests related to specific remarks made at briefings by DOH representatives, but somehow there isn’t a single email, memo, note or other document relating to the subject of these remarks, or at least not that the state has produced.  I know that I am being singled out for slow-rolling a response.  I know that the administration is trying to run out the clock on these requests.  I am not going to let that happen.  I have given the state several opportunities to be forthcoming and they won’t do it.  So unlike others who just give up, I am going to sue them and I am going to publicize their hiding of this information.  You can help by writing your legislators and demanding that this data be released and asking the media why they are insisting on getting it.  And you can support the Upper Midwest Legal Center, which is helping me in this effort.

When we finally see the truth, we will learn that DOH has and wouldn’t release to the public data showing that masks were not effective in stopping transmission, either in general or in schools; that there are high numbers of incidental hospitalizations, especially among children; that it delayed reporting on breakthru events as long as possible, until forced to do so, and most importantly that DOH has decided what data and information to release on the basis of whether it supports messaging and political goals.  In other words, they decide on the message first, regardless of what data and research says, and then only look for and release data that supports their message.  This is what they did in the youth sports case and in the closing of bars and restaurants and it is the same with everything else.  I may not win, but I am not going to accept this kind of conduct from government.

Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Dan Waller says:

    Thank you for your relentless pursuit of the truth!

  • Greg says:

    Godspeed on your legal action to force the state to follow its own laws.

    Is there a state in the US that is a “model” of data provision in your view?

    As always, thanks for all you do shine light into dark places…

    • Kevin Roche says:

      I probably haven’t looked closely enough, but my sense is that most fall short on actual data collection and provision and most misuse data to advance messaging

  • Patricia Stasney says:

    Thank you for doggedly staying on them . So much propaganda.

  • Harley says:

    The continued inability of government to be honest with the public they serve. What a sad commentary. Thanks for your continued pursuit of the truth.

  • Jake says:

    You have our support! Next time you post about this (you should post often to catch casual readers) consider including a link for readers to find their representation:

    Emailing them is quick and easy. Maybe make a template to make it even easier for us.

  • Fish Taco says:

    re: Greg

    Your readers should take a look at the North Dakota dashboard, and the “Hospitalization” tab lower-right specifically.

  • John Oh says:

    You’re doing God’s work. I don’t live in Minnesota but I’ll send a donation to Upper Midwest. The DOH should be embarrassed.

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