Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

When Nancy Pelosi ignored San Francisco’s laws, she essentially said that laws are for the little people. Ms. Pelosi’s elitist attitude disgusts most people who follow politics. It’s an attitude that’s the opposite of Newt Gingrich’s attitude.

Part of Speaker Gingrich’s Contract With America. Included in Speaker Gingrich’s Contract With America is this item:

require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply to Congress

That law was repealed in 2009, when Pelosi was Speaker, Harry Reid was Senate Majority Leader and Barack Obama was president. Apparently, Democrats think that it’s a terrible idea to require the ruling class to live by the laws that they impose on the rest of society. When Republicans restore unified GOP government this November, their first task should be to restore that law. This is why that law is needed:

After lecturing the people about mandating wearing a mask in public, Nancy Pelosi ignored science. She didn’t wear a mask during a hair appointment to a salon that’s closed to the little people. Rather than being repentant, Ms. Pelosi is demanding an apology:

Nancy Pelosi won’t get dragged into court for violating San Francisco’s COVID laws. Apparently, people of privilege aren’t subject to that scrutiny. (Whatever happened to “Nobody’s above the law, not even the President?”) Democrat TV flacks are defending her, which is the equivalent of defending the indefensible.

What Ms. Pelosi did was thoroughly reprehensible. She did what others aren’t allowed to do. Further, Ms. Pelosi sent the unmistakable message that the salon is open for her convenience but the salon owner wasn’t allowed to open and earn a living. What’s worst, though, is that Pelosi then went on MSDNC and lectured President Trump for doing what she just did.

Ms. Pelosi is a reprehensible, disgusting politician. As the most powerful Democrat in Washington, DC, she’s treated laws as optional for herself but required for the little people. It’s time to throw her out of the Speaker’s office and replace her with Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy actually cares about people, something that Ms. Pelosi doesn’t do.

Trying to figure out Tim Walz’s plan for reopening schools might take weeks. Figuring out whether Gov. Walz is a slave to EdMinn takes much less time. Tim Walz and the DFL essentially are indentured servants to EdMinn. They don’t dare do what’s right for the students. That’s how Gov. Walz and the DFL finished with the plan they’re currently pitching.

David Perry had been waiting for months to learn whether his two middle-­school children will be heading back to their Shoreview school in the fall.

He was still left hanging Thursday after Gov. Tim Walz announced a localized, model-driven approach to opening schools in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Decisions on whether to return to class, continue distance learning, or use some hybrid of both, will depend on the number of COVID-19 cases in a given area and a school’s ability to meet health and safety standards. School districts are expected to announce in the coming weeks one of three learning models they will use based on the formula laid out by the administration.

“I don’t feel like I know any more today about what is going to happen in September than I did yesterday, and we’ve been building up to this big announcement,” said Perry, whose son has Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorder. The family needs more time to plan for his education. “I don’t feel I’m any closer to understanding what’s going to happen with my kids or my work schedule,” Perry said.

Tim Walz is the anti-science governor. The DFL is his enabler. For months, child care centers have been operating safely. Despite facing the same hurdles, Tim Walz and the DFL can’t figure out how to safely return students to schools. (Perhaps we should put child care operators in charge of reopening schools. I’m only partially kidding.)

DFL House Speaker Melissa Hortman said she was pleased that Walz also announced plans to pump an additional $250 million of coronavirus relief funding into classrooms as they prepare for new social distancing measures. Among them will be a requirement for those who return to the classroom to wear masks. “Our districts need additional resources to provide the high-quality education we expect while keeping Minnesotans safe,” Hortman said.

Why isn’t the DFL pushing Gov. Walz to make classrooms safe so students can return to school? Why hasn’t the DFL admitted that students aren’t at risk, that the only people who might be at risk are older teachers? Instead, Gov. Walz and the DFL put together a plan that Einstein would have difficulty deciphering.

At the start of this clip, Gov. Walz tells a whopper:

This is a localized, data-driven approach to make sure that school districts where it is physically possible to teach our students, we will do that.

The matrix put together by the Walz administration has tons of caveats in it. That’s foolish. Students, especially grade school students, don’t transmit the virus. This isn’t opinion. It’s the finding of Dr. Scott Atlas of the Hoover Institution:

On Good Morning San Diego, Dr. Atlas said we are one of the only countries that is not planning to reopen our schools. “The data is clear. Whether it’s from Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Spain, the United States, Asia, all over the world, children do not have any serious disease. Children almost never transmit the disease. In fact, Switzerland is contemplating stopping even testing children because it’s irrelevant.”

Continuing, “there is not serious risk of even getting the illness. But that’s not even the point here, I want to go even further. By now, we know who is at risk. K-12 teachers in the United States, half of them are under 41 years of age, they’re not at risk. 82% are under 55-years-old, if there is a handful, which there are, teachers in the high-risk category, don’t they know how to protect themselves with their so called 6-feet spacing and mask rules? And if they’re still afraid, even if they don’t want to do that, then they can teach from home. I don’t understand why they have to lock up schools.”

The statistics point in one direction. The statistics show that students, especially younger students, aren’t transmitters of COVID. The point isn’t to wait until the virus is gone. The policy should be to mitigate as much of the risk as possible. That points to making things like plexiglass walls in classrooms standard to eliminate what little risk there is for teachers.

It’s apparent that St. Paul and Minneapolis teachers don’t want to return to traditional classrooms this fall. If that’s what they prefer, they should be fired. This article reports that “Twin Cities educators on Friday called on Gov. Tim Walz to delay a return to in-person instruction in the fall, saying the risks of reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic are too great.”

That’s BS according to Dr. Scott Atlas, a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Dr. Atlas had “an I-told-you-so-moment” recently during this interview:

During that “I-told-you-so-moment”, Dr. Atlas said “the children have an extremely low risk to this disease, far less than seasonal flu. Number 2, there are massive harms closing schools to the children and those are extremely important, of course, because every policy we do, we must understand the consequences of the policy itself are.”

Later, Dr. Atlas said this:

They have acknowledged that long-distance learning is a failure, that children learn much more in person, from social gatherings, dealing with conflict resolutions, working with groups, that schools provide nutrition…

These teachers just showed their true colors. The risk isn’t “too great.” The younger the student, the less the risk is that they’re a super spreader and the less risk that they’ll get the virus. That’s a verified fact. These teachers are lying. Period. Full stop.

If Gov. Walz caves to Education Minnesota, which is definitely possible, he should be thrown out of office after one term. Putting EdMinn’s wishes ahead of these students’ needs is unforgiveable. It’s quite possible because EdMinn is a subsidiary of the DFL.

This is dishonesty at its most disgusting:

The St. Paul and Minneapolis teachers unions organized a march from J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School to the governor’s residence. Walking alongside parents and students, some carried signs that read “I can’t teach from a grave” and “Exactly how many dead kids is acceptable?”

Thus far, 1 child has died in Minnesota of COVID. As for the “I can’t teach from a grave” sign, I’ll just say that the students might be better off if they didn’t have these teachers. Minnesota, in my estimation, would be far better off without Gov. Walz and the DFL majority in the House.

The people living near Powderhorn Park promised not to call the police if violence erupted. They’ve now broken that promise. According to the article, “A man was shot Tuesday at a homeless encampment in Powderhorn Park, the latest incident in the tent community that has sprung up in Minnesota’s largest city. About 1:50 p.m., Minneapolis park police responded to a 911 call. When they arrived, they found a male victim with gunshot wounds to the arm and face, according to a park police spokeswoman.”

I wrote this post to highlight the predicament the neighborhood already faced. This isn’t the crisis that I anticipated but it isn’t a Saturday in the park, either:

More than 280 people live in tents in the park, according to a survey conducted earlier this month for the Minneapolis Housing Finance Authority. Two encampments at the north end of the park were formed after homeless residents were evicted from a hotel-turned-shelter nearby in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd on May 25.

About half the people at the encampment had previously received homelessness services from Hennepin County, the survey found, and about 45% identify as Native American. Powderhorn is just one of about 100 such encampments across the city, officials said.

Minneapolis will soon start losing population by the neighborhood. It doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out that people don’t want to live in a city without police, with prostitution and drug addicts. Further, the stench will quickly become overwhelming. Then what will Minneapolis do?

UPDATE: After watching this video, I need to rethink my statement that “this isn’t the crisis that I anticipated”:

It’s definitely a crisis. What’s tragic is that the Minneapolis City Council is composed of DFL activists. These DFL activists aren’t equipped to deal with complex policy-making situations. The people serving on the Park Board are essentially the DFL farm team to the City Council.

This article highlights DFL Gov. Tim Walz’s incompetence. In it, we learn that “A Minnesota National Guard unit botched COVID-19 testing for 300 residents and staff members at a St. Paul nursing home Monday, leaving many with pain, discomfort and bloody noses.” That’s just the start of the litany of problems. Then there’s this:

In what one health official acknowledged was “a disaster,” the test samples from Episcopal Church Home were later ruined because they were not stored in coolers while being transported to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. State officials quickly apologized to Episcopal Homes leaders and said they’ve already taken steps to ensure such mistakes aren’t repeated. Nevertheless, an elder care advocate said the incident raises serious questions about whether Minnesota can accurately and effectively carry out widespread testing.

It’s the leaders’ responsibility to establish proper procedures. Gov. Walz and Commissioner Malcolm share the blame for not establishing those procedures. Further, they share the blame for not getting the right supplies in the right hands at the right time.

Kris Sundberg, the executive director of Elder Voice Family Advocates said what everyone was thinking when she said “This just further erodes any trust that we have had in the Department of Health. I think we have a long way to go to really have the clearly thought-out protocols we need in order to do [widespread] testing.” I’d expect better execution from the Washington Generals than we got from this leadership team.

A statement Wednesday from the Minnesota State Lab Partnership acknowledged “that there was an isolated incident related to the packaging and shipment of specimens to one of the testing sites. Ensuring the temperature integrity of specimens is critical to testing. We are accelerating and strengthening our training program to ensure all specimen collections, packaging, and shipping are performed to the highest standards.”

You’ve got to be kidding me. The program was put in place without training the personnel first? This is Frontline Management 101. This isn’t a graduate level course.

Jan Malcolm, state health commissioner, also apologized. In an e-mail to Plakut Wednesday, she said officials have been working to quickly develop new training and protocols for swabbing and infection control at long-term care facilities, but “in this rapid launch, important steps in the process were missed and there were miscommunications.”

Incompetence is this administration’s hallmark. Minnesotans had hoped that getting rid of Mark Dayton would turn the page on incompetence. Based on results thus far, it’s apparent that Minnesotans placed their hope in the wrong candidate. After viewing this video, it’s apparent that the DFL is devoid of competent leaders:

Melvin Carter is the African-American version of Tim Walz. They’re both timid. They’re both unwilling to trust the people. Apparently, trusting people isn’t the DFL way.

Anyone that thinks that DFL Gov. Tim Walz’s decision-making is a portrait in logic should schedule an appointment with a mental health expert ASAP. At yesterday’s briefing, Gov. Walz explained the rules for opening up bars and restaurants. We now know that “Bars and restaurants in Minnesota can open June 1 for outdoor service under a revised COVID-19 response strategy announced by Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday that also allows for limited reopening of hair salons and campgrounds.”

We also know that Benevolent King Walz said “While the virus won’t yet allow for business as usual, let’s do what we do best after winter in Minnesota and head outside. Whether it’s a Jucy Lucy, a plate of tamales, or a walleye dinner, Minnesotans can support their local restaurant by enjoying a socially distanced meal outdoors.”

Then there’s this:

Republican lawmakers balked at the lack of accommodation for places of worship, which cannot have outdoor services of more than 10 people even though restaurants can now serve 50 outdoors. “I see no reason why churches are any more dangerous a place for coronavirus transmission than Walmart or a mall,” said Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake. “I am dumbfounded why the governor would treat churches this way and hope the federal courts will intervene.”

That rule is as dead as Gov. Walz’s logic is confusing. Gov. Walz’s rules hint that people dining out are able to make better health decisions than people attending church services. In what warped solar system does that make sense? Hint: When Gov. Walz saw Alice, did she greet him?

During the video, Gov. Walz said “I wish I could tell you that there was a perfect answer. I wish I could tell you that the ones we have are absolutely right.” This is what a control freak sounds like. Why not establish sound guidelines (social distancing, wearing masks, etc.), then let people figure it out? This is what happens when a politician doesn’t trust the people. This sounds like a threat more than a guarantee:

“It is going to get worse here, this virus, before it gets better. That is an absolute guarantee,” said Walz, predicting 1,000 deaths in Minnesota by the end of the month.

After finding out that we’re still sending COVID-19 patients back to nursing homes, which is a huge mistake on Gov. Walz’s part, he’s virtually telling us that he’s working to create this crisis. If someone has COVID, sending them into the midst of a building filled with people whose immune systems are compromised is like giving an arsonist a can of gas, some matches and a field of dry grass. What do you think will happen? This is pure BS:

The concern for state public health leaders is that the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 spreads more rapidly than was initially known, particularly in indoor areas with limited airflow.

Florida, Georgia and Texas have opened up the most. They haven’t seen the things described in the previous paragraph. We were told that they were opening too soon, that they’d kill people and that they’d have blood on their hands. Here’s Gov. DeSantis’ reply:

It’s time for these reporters to work a little harder. It’s time for them to admit that they’ve gotten things badly wrong by trusting the liberal narrative. The facts speak for themselves. Res ipsa loquitur. There’s that old reality rearing its ugly head and getting in the way of a well-spun narrative. There are times when I’m convinced that Jeremy Olson and Briana Bierschbach aren’t employed by the Star Tribune. At times, I wonder if they’re paid by the Star Tribune but employed by the DFL.

Gov. Walz has failed. He hasn’t trusted Minnesotans. He’s executed his plans poorly. I wouldn’t trust him to run a lemonade stand. If you searched for the definition of incompetence in a dictionary, there’d be a picture of Tim Walz and Andrew Cuomo instead of words.

Marcie Bianco intended to lecture Americans throughout this op-ed. She tried lecturing us unsophisticated brutes from the Heartland when she wrote “liberty does not mean what you think it means.” Actually, Marcie, I think it’s you that doesn’t understand what liberty is.

In the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, the men who won our liberty wrote “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

In Marcie’s words, “Liberty is a type of freedom defined and limited by civil society. It is not an unrestrained, unchecked license to do whatever one desires. Rather, liberty is a right constituted by the society — or, here, nation — one lives in.”

While it isn’t unreasonable to think that liberties are unlimited, it is unreasonable to think that liberty is defined only by society. While Bianco cites the Declaration of Independence, she wrote this:

And yet, as the quarantine protests make clear, a popular yet factually and legally inaccurate sentiment has infected the minds of many Americans. To paraphrase, it goes something like this: “This is America, and I am free to do whatever I want!”

That’s offensive. That isn’t what protesters have said. They’ve protested against tyrants like J.B. Pritzker and Gretchen Whitmer, Democrats who insist that it’s logical to say that it’s ok to shop at Walmart but that it’s dangerous to shop at a neighborhood hardware store. On the bright side, at least Democrats are accepting Walmart a little.

The belief that personal freedom is more valuable than the common good factors heavily in right-wing logic. And it has, particularly in the 21st century, been the strategic linchpin of right-wing efforts to squash social and economic justice movements, particularly through race-baiting, xenophobic rhetoric. Such rhetoric, which we are seeing starting to creep into anti-quarantine protests, is designed to stoke the fear of oppression in white American society.

I’ve watched tons of these protests. I don’t know what the hell she’s talking about. The first couple of protests were held in cars. I’d love hearing Ms. Bianco explain when she heard “xenophobic rhetoric.” Better yet, I’d love finding out which protests she attended where she heard xenophobic rhetoric. It’s quite possible that she’s assuming things that she doesn’t have proof for. Where is the xenophobic rhetoric at Karl Manke’s reopening?

The day after Manke reopened, vindictive Democrat Michigan Gov. Gretchen ‘The Witch’ Whitmer revoked Karl Manke’s license. Marcie, I’d love hearing you explain how The Witch’s vindictive action is a good-faith attempt at restoring Karl Manke’s liberty. It’s time to write Ms. Bianco’s article off as the rantings of a spoiled progressive fascist.

The DFL, using its favorite mouthpiece, aka the Star Tribune, is trying to paint a rosy picture in this article. It opens by saying “Hundreds of Minnesotans were released from COVID-19 quarantine over the weekend as wider testing discovers more cases that aren’t ending in death or serious illness.”

It’s good news that these COVID patients survived without “serious illness.” Still, there were 24 COVID deaths reported Sunday, the vast majority of whom were living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Here’s the breakdown of COVID-related deaths by age group:

Again I ask, why shut the entire state’s economy when 90+ percent of the fatalities are people who live in nursing homes and assisted living facilities? That’s as foolish as putting out extra highway patrols to cut down on drownings. It makes sense to focus the resources where the biggest problems exist. Right now, the biggest problems aren’t with healthy 20-somethings to 50-somethings.

This doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out, though it might require Republican to figure it out. Thus far, the DFL certainly hasn’t figured it out. The DFL, especially Gov. Walz, has talked about public-private partnerships, increasing testing, etc. They haven’t said a thing about what they’ve done to fix our nursing home-assisted living crisis.

That’s the real crisis. Why hasn’t the DFL fixed the real COVID crisis? If you’re the leader of the entire state, perform like it. Thus far, Gov. Walz and the DFL haven’t performed like it.

For those of you who haven’t paid attention to Scott Johnson’s investigation into Gov. Walz’s mishandling (my words, not Scott’s) of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time you started reading his work. This morning, Johnson published a post titled “Why the Minnesota shutdown?“. Included in Johnson’s post is a reply to a question he submitted to MDH, aka Minnesota Department of Health, Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

Johnson’s question said “Referring to the 286 total deaths to date, I note that every decedent under age 70 has died in long-term care or similar setting. The youngest person to die outside long-term care was in his 70’s. Why is it necessary to close the schools and shut down the state to protect the at-risk population?” The reply came “from MDH media contact Doug Schultz.” Here’s Schultz’s reply:

We have had deaths in people younger than 70 and certainly many cases in all age groups. It is necessary to take the community mitigation measures we have because all Minnesotans are at risk from COVID 19, as none of us has immunity. Some people, like those in long-term-care and those with underlying health conditions, are far more at risk than others. But if we didn’t reduce transmission in the community as we have with the stay at home order, we would see far more disease circulating and many times more serious cases that would quickly overwhelm our health care system. Then, even less-vulnerable people would not be able to get the care they needed, such as intensive care, ventilators, etc., so we would see far more deaths in people outside of the very frail and elderly. That is what has happened in places like Italy and New York.

Kevin Roche, “the former UnitedHealth Group general counsel and chief executive officer of its Ingenix division”, scrutinized Schultz’s statement. This jumped out at me:

“If we didn’t reduce transmission we would overwhelm the health system.” A flat-out lie. There is absolutely nothing that suggests we couldn’t provide adequate resources to treat those who need treatment.

I’m submitting these statistics to strengthen Mr. Roche’s already strong case:

ICU beds in use: 936
ICU beds: Current 1,244 Available within 24 hrs. — 795 Available within 72 hrs. — 542

Summarization: 936 ICU beds are in use out of 2,581 available. That represents approximately 36% of Minnesota’s ICU beds. In terms of ventilators in use vs. ventilators in inventory, MDH’s case is far weaker:

Ventilators in use: 463; currently in stock — 1,438; surge –1,435; on backorder 888

Summarization: 463 ventilators are in use out of a total 3,761 ventilators in stock or on backorder. That’s before potentially adding the 6,500 ventilators that are in stock but aren’t being used in Florida. That’s before factoring in other states’ ventilators not in use. FYI- 463 in use vs. 3,761 is approximately 12%.

For Mr. Schultz to say “If we didn’t reduce transmission we would overwhelm the health system” is outright dishonesty. It has nothing to do with reality. If a state can run out of ventilators when 12% of a state’s inventory is getting used, then someone needs to get fired.

The Mayo Clinic cut payroll for upper management by $1,600,000,000 recently because they’re at 35% of capacity. Additionally, Mayo just pushed Gov. Walz into an agreement on testing. Gov. Walz said he wouldn’t consider loosening restrictions until 5,000 tests per day could be performed. The next day, literally, Mayo said that they could run 10,000 per day.

Gov. Walz’s administration’s strategy has been to use dishonesty to frighten people into this lockdown. We can’t thank citizen journalists like Scott Johnson and Kevin Roche enough for flushing out the Walz administration’s fear-mongering tactics. They’re doing what the MSM isn’t willing to do.

With a single unconstitutional ruling, Lina Hidalgo might’ve become Public Enemy #1 in Houstonians’ eyes. Hidalgo ruled that not wearing a mask in public in Harris County could earn them “180 days in jail or a $1,000 fine.” The backlash was swift and harsh, starting with Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and extending to the Houston Police Officers Union, aka HPOU.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tweeted that “These kind of confused government policies fuel public anger and rightfully so.” Lt. Gov. Patrick noted “that Hidalgo’s order … was announced on the same day as plans surfaced for closing a costly temporary hospital ‘because it wasn’t needed.'”

The HPOU was the harshest critic. President Joe Gamaldi of Houston Police Officers’ Union Lodge 110 wrote in a statement “It is clear the so-called leader of Harris County lacks any critical thinking skills but let me assure the public, our officers do!”


This jumped out at me:

But Judge Lina Hidalgo’s action, which intended to help stem the spread of the coronavirus in the third most populous county in the U.S., drew immediate pushback — including from the state’s lieutenant governor, who called the move “the ultimate government overreach,” and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who wrote that “commonsense guidelines” should never lead to “unjust tyranny.”

If this isn’t part of Texas state statutes, then I don’t see how this is taken seriously. Without a law passed by the legislature, judges can’t just make up a crime. That requires enacting a law and getting the governor’s signature. I’d be surprised if the Texas Attorney General doesn’t smack this overreach down before it becomes ‘law’ on Monday.