Don't Move the Goal Posts

Political Courage Needed to Lead through the Coronavirus Pandemic

COVID-19.jpgIn our April 13 SD49GOP newsletter and on our website, we noted that an increasing number of Republican legislators were pushing back on Gov. Walz for extending his order requiring most Minnesotans to stay home to May 4th. We went on to urge the governor to tell the state that, assuming current trends continue, restrictions will be lifted by May 4 for those businesses that put in place measures to keep their workers safe.

Two weeks ago, the criteria for re-opening the economy were two-fold:
• We need to “bend the curve”. Rather than an increasing trend in the number of new cases, we need to see the trend level off and start to decrease.
• Our health care system needs to be able to cope without resorting to crisis measures such as emergency hospitals.

Over the past week, our number of new cases has averaged 192, fluctuating between 97 and 261. The percentage of new cases to the number of daily completed tests has trended downward from 11.5% to 9.4%. With respect to the second bullet, the number of virus patients in ICU has fluctuated in the range of 104 to 122, well within the capability of our 844 ICU beds to handle.

Last Thursday, AlphaNews reported that state representative Pat Garofalo (R, Farmington) was asking if Gov Walz has changed his criteria for re-opening the economy. “Now we are being told we need to stay in an Emergency State so nobody gets infected.” MN State Senator and medical doctor Scott Jenson (R, Chaska) echoed Garofalo’s concerns, “Are the goalposts being moved?” he tweeted.

John Hinderaker, in his PowerLine blog of April 25, asks if our elected officials can muster the courage to talk honestly about COVID-19. Does the pivot to requiring a declining count of positive cases really make practical sense? With a disease that so often is asymptomatic, if we only test people with symptoms, we will be missing a lot of asymptomatic cases. It won’t go away until a vaccine is developed and widely applied.

“The question should be on how to manage the disease. We have to accept that it is here, part of our environment. We have to figure out how to have a functioning society while we live with it. Will the experts and elected officials ever have the courage to tell people the truth about the situation?


A number of noteworthy articles in other publications have recently appeared on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Minnesota . We’re providing links here for a few from AlphaNews that we felt were especially well-written and which may expand your insights on this issue.

April 18: Give Me Liberty, Not Guarantees
Since when did life, policy, governance, or decision-making operate on guarantees? Let me tell you when: never.

April 22: Minnesota’s April 8 Covid Graph Distorts the Truth
When data is poorly presented, it creates a false narrative about the facts on the ground, contributing to incorrect perceptions of danger.

April 23: Prioritizing the Economy Is Prioritizing Lives
Prioritizing the economy is not a prioritization ahead of human life; it’s quite the opposite. Worrying about the economy is a direct concern for human life.