Breaking news interceded when I left off this series in part 54 with a current total of 967 deaths attributed to COVID-19. In the data released over the past four days we had 29 (May 29), 30 (May 30), 14 (May 31), and 10 (June 1) daily deaths attributed to COVID-19 by the authorities. The current total of all deaths attributed to COVID-19 is 1,050, including 848 in long-term care facilities. LTC deaths continue to account for 80 percent of all deaths attributed to COVID-19, as has been the case plus or minus two percent for quite a while now.
The authorities rolled out Minnesota Model 3.0 with great fanfare on May 13. I have been making fun of its projection of total deaths through the end of May since May 14. With the books on May closed, Kevin Roche takes a look back at the performance of model in “Minnesota Milestone, From the Road.” Kevin concludes:
The right thing for [Governor Walz] to do, as it has been for weeks, is to acknowledge that the model is screwed up and not fit for use as in decision-making, and to fully lift all his orders. And if it makes him feel better for being stubborn, incompetent boob, he can claim victory by defeating the virus with his actions. I would take that tradeoff to get the economy fully re-opened. But one thing I would insist on is his apology to Minnesotans for unnecessarily terrorizing them, causing unbelievable job loss and all manner of health harms.
The Minnesota Department of Health resumed its daily press briefing yesterday. I have posted the audio below. Every reporter in the queue on the conference call was able to ask his question. If they had let me in, I would have had a question or two for them. I can tell you that much.
The last reporter in the queue was Salem Radio’s Lee Michaels. I believe this was the first time Lee has been called on. Congratulations, Lee.
Lee asked an obvious question that no reporter had previously seen fit to ask: what role do advanced care directives or do not resuscitate orders play in the LTC deaths? Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm did not have a numerical answer at hand, but she responded that “some percentage” of the LTC deaths involved advanced care directives. They are important, she said, and do play a role. Given the advanced age of most Minnesota decedents and the co-morbidities of the LTC population, to which Malcolm also referred, that makes perfect sense.
For those who might take in the press briefing from the top rather than skip to the end to take in that question and answer, I would add the comment that it’s time to stop the madness.