The Free Press editorial board’s one-sided, favorable-only review of the last 14 months of government actions should leave readers wondering if they can ever count on hearing that the government might have done anything wrong.
A more balanced review of the past 14 months shows that the government in Minnesota did more harm than good.
Let’s start at the "bookend" age groups. It was abundantly clear from the very first days of the pandemic that the frail elderly were most at risk from COVID-19, and younger children were at much lower risk from COVID than even from influenza. Rather than focus on protecting the elderly, Gov. Tim Walz allowed hospitals to discharge still contagious COVID patients into nursing homes.
It was not until mid-year that a "battle plan" was enacted to begin mitigating one of the worst nursing home fatality proportions in the nation. (One New York Times analysis of government data from June 2020 showed Minnesota third worst in proportion of COVID deaths from long-term care facilities).
From the earliest days, young children were banished to home isolation. The mental health emergency that followed was as devastating as it was predictable. Walz ignored continually emerging science showing transmission rates from children to adults were almost nonexistent.
Adults of school aged children were burdened with the continuous challenges of quarantines and distance learning. Small business owners were especially targeted with shut downs that to this day no reliable statistical study can identify the benefits of.
The banishment of Scott Johnson (writer for Powerline) from the MDH briefings should have been headline news for a periodical that pays homage to the First Amendment in its namesake. He, and Kevin Roche at health-skeptic, have been doing the work a real free press does. The Mankato Free Press should try it on.