Minnesota’s Department of Health has a tradition throughout the epidemic of hiding information that would be important for understanding trends and relationships and manipulating data in ways that support the Incompetent Blowhard’s desired message. In other words, its modus operandi throughout the epidemic has been “message first, real transparency never”. The DOH continued this longstanding effort yesterday with an overhaul of how it presents breakthrough data, particularly around vaccine effectiveness. DOH wants everyone to believe that the vaccines are enormously protective, especially against hospitalization or death. Unfortunately for them, the data isn’t consistent with that message. Their solution–make it harder for people like Dave Dixon to show the truth on tables and charts. Now Dave is very smart and persistent and he will figure out how to get you the data you are used to seeing. Dave gets the underlying data sheet, and he says that this sheet now actually contains some additional elements that will allow some refined analyses.
Here is the main page on the breakthrough data, which you can see is used primarily by DOH to shill for getting vaxed, boosted, double boosted, boosted a hundred times, regardless of the effects on your immune system. (DOH Breakthrough Page)
Until this week’s revisions, the page contained a table which listed the total number of Minnesotans considered fully vaxed, and the number of breakthrough infections, hospitalizations and deaths and the percent of fully vaxed persons represented by those breakthrough events. That made it easy to compare with other data on the total number of events for the week and the relative proportion in vaxed and unvaxed persons. DOH clearly doesn’t want people doing that.
Both from this omission and the manner in which DOH presents charts supposedly showing the relative risks to vaxed and unvaxed persons, it is apparent that they want people to believe that the vax continue to be highly protective. The new text reinforces this message, in a very misleading manner. What is most relevant to people is what is my risk right now, what is the relative value of being vaxed at this moment. DOH focuses on risk over the entire period since vaccinations started. Since this in essence ignores the lessening of effectiveness that every study shows occurs within a few months, it is misleading. And if you play with the chart app, you will see this by comparing the all selection with the last 60 days one. DOH tries to undercut this in the text by encouraging people to use the whole period and ignore recent weeks, which goes against its own earlier note that effectiveness may wane. The truth is that effectiveness against even hospitalization and death continues to decline over time.
DOH also notes that it doesn’t have all people who may be vaxed. They don’t try very hard to get federal and out of state data because it too would undercut the messaging, increasing the number of breakthrough events. And under definitions, we see the admission of absolute stupidity of how hospitalizations are counted–anyone admitted FOR ANY REASON within 14 days of a positive test. Continuing to be missing in action is data on reinfections and the interaction between prior infection and vax status. It would be very important to see that data, which DOH has, but won’t provide.
DOH’s job should be to give people all the data needed to do an analysis and make decisions. If they want to go on to say we believe the data tells us X, that is fine, but DOH does it the other way around. They decide that everyone should get vaccinated multiple times, then slant what data they present and how they present it to support that message, and intentionally hide any data that doesn’t support the message. Despicable, but consistent with how Little Timmy Walz and his DOH minions have handled the entire epidemic. They don’t trust the citizenry.