Insofar as I can tell from the reported data, the severity of the epidemic continues at a low level in Minnesota. Over the past two days, the authorities have attributed 10 new deaths (9/22, five in long-term care facilities) and six new deaths (9/23, three in LTC) to COVID-19. Long-term care deaths account for 72 percent of all fatalities attributed to the epidemic. New cases are up less than testing. The rolling 7-day average rate of testing positivity is 4.6 percent — down from 4.8 percent.
The tone of yesterday’s Minnesota Department of Health press briefing was nevertheless grievous, if not funereal. Speaking of the funereal tone, I note that a funeral in rural Minnesota is singled out for discussion. Halloween is held out as a serious threat to public health. Those Halloween masks — not good enough. Although it cuts off a piece of the response to the last question, I have posted MPR’s recording below. Star Tribune reporter Jeremy Olson’s report on the briefing is classic. It is impossible to understand the course of the epidemic in the media fog.
In her prepared remarks Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann announced that MDH is rejiggering the hospitalization data. I assumed this was to render the data more susceptible to panicking the public, but Kevin Roche holds out hope for a good-faith improvement. In addition to providing a biting review of yesterday’s briefing Kevin also takes up the congressional testimony of the fallacious Dr. Fauci in “The ‘experts’ fail us.”