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Coronavirus in one state (130)

Governor Walz convened yet another COVID-19 press conference yesterday afternoon (video below). The verbiage flowed in the usual torrent. His performance made me wonder if the Emmy Foundation gave Walz a fair shot before it chose to recognize New York Governor Andrew Cuomo with an Emmy for his press conferences.

Like Cuomo, Walz deserves some kind of recognition for what he has wrought in his press conferences. Indeed, Walz’s failure to stem the spread of the disease in nursing homes might rival Cuomo’s. (According to the AP this past August, New York’s true nursing home death toll is “cloaked in secrecy.”) Walz at least deserved a nomination.

Walz convened this press conference to announce the rollout of a new app that alerts users to possible exposure to the disease. The app is accessible at COVIDawaremn. Walz presented Minnesota Commissioner of IT Services Tarek Tomes to discuss the app.

In response to the first question posed, Walz stated (at 27:45):” “If people choose to believe, if they get caught in a conspiracy theory black hole on the Internet, they don’t do the adaption [sic].” That’s what the man said. In his concluding remarks Walz exhorted us to download the app. “It’s the neighborly thing to do,” he said.

Help me, I’ve fallen into a conspiracy theory black hole and I don’t know what to do! (Just kidding.)

Picking up on the mental health theme from Walz’s press briefing this past Friday — I discussed it in part 129 of this series — Kevin Roche observes “The IB Is Concerned About Your Mental Health, While He Attempts to Drive You Crazy.” Kevin hasn’t fallen into a conspiracy theory black hole either, but he argues that the current shutdown regime is doing enormous damage.

Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann provided updated numbers on the disease (at 17:00 of the video). With respect to the data released yesterday, Ehresmann specifically itemized the number of nursing home deaths and the age distribution of decedents. The number of nursing home deaths happened to be lower yesterday than it has been over the past several days, but at least she mentioned it. As usual, not a single question from the pool reporters addressed the issue.