What We Are Learning From MDH
Walz laid out his COVID-19 testing plan, but there are many questions to answer. People’s freedom should not be based on submitting to a test. Requiring a test would violate people's freedoms in trade for a sense of false security.
During the HHS committee meeting this week, the Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Health acknowledged, testing does not guarantee any business or facility is free from the virus. He verified the inaccuracy of the tests, along with the short 2 to 3 day window when the tests can detect an infected person, in addition to, a percentage of human handling errors, currently results in 70% of infected people testing negative. This means few infected people will actually be identified.
He did not clarify if the results would be anonymously kept by the state.
MDH also recently started sharing the breakdown in COVID-19 fatalities by age. With 83% of deaths are in those over 70 years old, the majority of deaths taking place among those congregate care settings. There are zero deaths among those under 30 years old, and over 99% of the people who died had some other underlying health condition. Also, what they don't show you is where those fatalities happen:
The data does not support this extent of stay-at-home orders. It is time we reopen Minnesota, and restore people’s freedoms to work and earn a living.
And in yet another overreach of government, I recently learned that on April 1st, the Department of Health required ALL hospitals to start reporting ALL Minnesotans entering and exiting an emergency room for care for any reason, and to also report when they enter or are discharged from a hospital for any reason. Included in this reporting, the hospitals must provide a list of required information on each patient.This data was previously considered private patient health data. Now it is owned and recorded by the government.
This is not only likely a breach of HIPAA regulations but most certainly violates our much stricter health privacy statutes here in Minnesota under the Health Records Act should any hospital actually comply. I sent a letter to the Commissioner asking her to provide an explanation of why patient consent is not required for patient disclosures. I am also troubled by the suggestion that such disclosures could be shared with law enforcement without patient consent or a warrant. You can read the full letter here: Munson letter to Commissioner Malcolm.
If the the Department of Health is allowed to continue to dismiss Minnesota state law pertaining to patient consent and data privacy, and claim the authority to access anyone’s data anywhere by stating a vague public health purpose, we will have created the framework to empower government agencies to act and do as they please.