Coronavirus in one state (42)

Minnesota Model 3.0 projected 46 or so deaths a day through the end of this month when it was released on Thursday. Yesterday the authorities reported 17 new deaths, bringing the total to 700. The new model predicts 1,441 deaths by the end of May. I will withhold further comment on it at this point.

The 17 new deaths came with the age breakdown we have continued to see: six decedents were in their 90’s, six were in their 80’s, four were in their 70’s, and one was in his 40’s. Fourteen of the 17 new decedents were residents of long-term care facilities. The share of long-term care decedents among all decedents hovers around 81 percent.

New cases continue to rise and ICU use along with it. They are invoked in support of the campaign of fear that continues to be waged by the authorities and abetted by the media. See, for example, Christopher Snowbeck’s Star Tribune story “Minnesota officials cautious after first week with fewer COVID-19 deaths.” For some reason Snowbeck omits any mention of the hospital vacancies amid the panic.

Rather, Snowbeck asserts “that hospitalization trends in Minnesota raise a concern that even limited steps to reopen the economy could stress hospital capacity[.]” Although Snowbeck’s article quotes executives from huge local health care systems who imply this is not an issue, Snowbeck undercuts the implication through Pinar Karaca Mandic, a health economist at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. By contrast with the health system executives Snowbeck quotes, Mandic has no ICU capacity at the Carlson School.

Snowbeck quotes former state epidemiologist Michael Osterholm, now a member of Governor Walz’s brain trust at the University of Minnesota: “The public just needs to know, for their own decisionmaking, that this is the time we’ve probably seen the most virus activity in the Twin Cities, right now, since this whole thing began back in January. From that standpoint, people need to make decisions: What are they going to do? The governor’s not forcing anybody to necessarily be in public.”

Governor Walz continues to assert minute control over our daily lives. Osterholm can barely express encouragement for us to take the available information and look out for ourselves. Expressing the notion in such a roundabout way, he makes it sound like a foreign concept.

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