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An open letter to Governor Walz


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Scott Johnson

Apr. 17 2020

Kevin Roche is former general counsel of UnitedHealth Group and chief executive officer of its Ingenix Division. He has posted “An open letter to Governor Walz” over at Healthy Skeptic and invited us to help get the word out. Kevin writes:

Dear Governor Walz:

The time has come for you to be a real leader, acknowledge your mistake, and change course. I am sure you may have believed you were taking the appropriate action when you is essence shut down the state’s economy and social life out of fear that the coronavirus epidemic might take thousands of lives in Minnesota…

For the time being, we will overlook your error in accepting at face value a model which, by its authors’ own statements, was based on information which was too limited to create accurate scenarios and should not have been relied upon. At some point, you will have to explain why you used the most extreme numbers produced by that model to justify your actions, numbers that were never credible and that have since been revised downward by half or more.

It will be harder to forgive the complete failure to perform any analysis of the economic harm, job loss, and non-economic damage that would be caused by your order and to weigh the relative harms and benefits of alternative approaches to mitigating the spread of the virus, even though at the time you issued your initial order it was apparent that the virus only presented a high risk of serious illness and death to specific sub-populations, like the infirm elderly.


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