I’m back ahead of schedule because Governor Walz held a press briefing yesterday in advance of the Labor Day weekend. He had with him Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Infectious Disease Division Director Kris Ehresmann, Dr.Cuong Pham, and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. Each spoke before Walz took questions for about 20 minutes. I have posted video of the briefing below.
Deaths attributed to COVID-19 continue at the same low level that I have regularly reported on over the past two-plus months (see the dropdown deaths data table posted at the MDH Situation Update). Hospitalizations attributed to the epidemic continue at a virtually indetectable level. Yet the authorities warn that we are on the verge of “a tipping point” that may require tightening of the screws. For a contrarian take, see Kevin Roche’s comments quoted in part 94 of this series.
Kris Ehresmann provided the obligatory mention of the Sturgis apocalypse. It remains in a holding pattern at 50 cases among the thousands of Minnesotans who attended the rally.
KSTP TV’s Tom Hauser asked the first question (at about 36:00 of the video). He asked the question I would have asked if I had the opportunity to ask just one. I have a few more I would like to have asked, but this is a good one. He cited the data on deaths and hospitalizations that belie the emergency Walz and his crew are decrying. I found Walz’s rambling response utterly vacuous.
We’ve literally been told that for the past 4-6 weeks… https://t.co/1lDrh3aT0h
— Tom Hauser (@thauserkstp) September 3, 2020
Shooting for understatement of the year, Walz allowed in response to another question that “the [COVID-19] modeling is not exact” (at about 41:30). This from the guy who shut down the state on March 25, citing a super duper custom-built Minnesota Model that projected 74,000 deaths in the state due to COVID-19. Walz touted it prominently in his speech announcing his stay-at-home order that day. Walz continues hyping an alleged shortage of hospital space to support his actions. All in all, coming five months later, this an incredibly depressing performance.