[LAKE CRYSTAL, MN] – Rep. Jeremy Munson offered the following statement on the release of the new Epidemiological model for COVID-19.
This new version of the COVID-19 University of Minnesota model continues to be based on outdated information that is three weeks old and does not consider all the changes in treatment and knowledge made in the past week. Once again, it focuses on treating the entire population in the same manner as the less than 0.1% of the population who are most vulnerable to this disease.
We keep coming back to the terrible fact that more than 82% of the deaths are in long term care facilities or “congregate care” as the commissioner refers to it. 99.25% of deaths occur in people who live in long term care facilities or have very serious underlying health conditions.
The Governor should be taking a more strategic approach focused on Minnesota’s vulnerable population while trying to mitigate the damage caused by these orders to the rest of the population.
Minnesota should focus its resources and support on long term care facilities. Moreover, I have serious concerns over our policy of releasing COVID-19 positive patients back into long term care facilities, while they are still infectious. This policy has had a tragic effect in other states like New York, and knowing this, it is unconscionable that we should allow the same thing to happen in Minnesota.
This virus is not going to disappear quickly. Even with stay at home orders, the vast majority of people will eventually be exposed. However, the evidence shows that most people will either be asymptomatic or experience mild symptoms. As with other viruses, the University of Minnesota and many other experts agree, we protect our most vulnerable by building herd immunity within our healthy population.
As we continue the stay at home orders, we continue to push out the peak. This means that whenever we open, there will likely be an increase in cases, so we need to have a plan for watching hospitalization rates. This is also why we need to question the wisdom in pushing the peak out into the Fall, when more people are inside and which will also coincide with our next flu season, with those additional hospitalizations. Some experts and the revision to the 2.0 U of MN models show that by pushing the peak out into the summer, we will actually increase the total deaths from COVID-19.”