Coronavirus in one state (107)

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The Michigan Supreme Court held the state’s emergency powers law unconstitutional yesterday in a 4-3 ruling by the state’s supreme court. The decision is posted online here. The Detroit News story on the decision is here. Monarchy is out in Michigan. As you might imagine, the witless Governor Gretchen Whitmer is “deeply disappoint[ed].” She intends to carry on “under alternative sources” of law.

In Minnesota, Governor Walz continues rule by decree for the indefinite future. Evidence of the “emergency” on which his rule by decree is predicated nevertheless continues to evanesce. In the data reported yesterday, for example, the authorities attributed 10 new deaths to COVID-19. Of these, 7 occurred among residents of long-term care facilities. As set forth in the Department of Health’s weekly report dated October 1, the median age of decedents remains 83. Of the 10 new deaths, two involved decedents in their 90’s, five in their 80’s, two in their 70’s, and one in his 60’s.

I declare the hospitalization data now provided by MDH to be worthless. As I read yesterday’s daily numbers, no one was admitted to intensive care and one patient was hospitalized. (The numbers will be updated.) MDH no longer advises us of the total laid up in hospitals with the disease at any given time.

Below is a chart based on the relevant numbers up until the day they turned out the lights on current hospitalizations last week (red=deaths, black line=new cases, green line=current hospitalizations), courtesy of C. Nelson, who comments: “It doesn’t take a genius to see what’s going on. If they’re trying to make the case for Cases…you can’t afford for people to see that hospitalizations are not increasing at an alarming rate.”

The Department of Health reported 1,184 new cases yesterday, yet I believe no mention was made of this number at its briefing (audio below). The new case number derived from a total of 32,977 tested, yielding the low positivity rate of 3.5 percent. Perhaps this is why no mention was made of the number of new cases. The median age of new cases remains 35.

Minnesota is implicated in the news that President Trump has contracted COVID-19. During his day in the state this past Wednesday, he appeared at a fundraiser in a private home on Lake Minnetonka outside Minneapolis and at the public rally that evening in Duluth. Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann opened the briefing with a statement related to these events and several reporters raised related questions.

Of these, my favorite was the question raised by WCCO’s Erin Hassanzadeh at about 22:00. Eric Trump appeared for a rally at Potter Trucking in Becker on Thursday following the Trump campaign events in Minnesota on Wednesday. Question: Has MDH put Becker County on notice? Answer: No. (Note: Becker is a city in Sherburne County. I don’t think MDH notified Sherburne County either.)

Looking back on last week, as global deaths attributed to the epidemic passed 1,000,000 and total deaths in Minnesota passed 2,000, I believe we reached a grim milestone on the use of the cliché “grim milestone” in news on the epidemic. A search on “grim milestone” and “COVID19” now returns about 300,000 stories. There is undoubtedly more to come in the grim milestone department as we approach November 3.



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