COVID Stats: What the Governor Isn’t Telling You
If you read or hear the rhetoric coming out of the governor's mansion in Helena, you'd think that Montana is doing better than all of our neighbors when it comes to the coronavirus fight. You'd be led to believe that because of the drastic measures taken by Governor Bullock (D-MT), like a statewide stay-at-home order, that Montana is seeing better outcomes. (North Dakota did not issue a statewide stay-at-home order.)
But it is what Governor Bullock is not telling you with the COVID-19 stats that is actually more telling.
Let's start with what the governor is telling you.
First, he's saying that Montana has a lower number of cases per capita than some of our neighboring states. What is he not telling you? He's not telling you that states like North Dakota and South Dakota have done more testing than Montana.
North Dakota has done almost twice as many tests as Montana. South Dakota has also done thousands more COVID-19 tests than Montana, according to this coronavirus state-by-state testing map put together by Politico.
As of April 26th, when I checked the numbers, here's how many tests were done in North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming:
ND: 20, 717 tests
SD: 16,274 tests
WY: 8159 tests
MT: 12,862 tests
In his guest opinion column posted by The Great Falls Tribune. Bullock says, "Unlike almost every other state, we have flattened the curve..."
What he isn't telling you, is that the IHME models that were used to justify all of these shutdowns already had social distancing baked into the models, according to former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson. The models were changed because the models were wrong.
What else is Bullock not telling you, as he and other partisan Democrats in Montana try to pat themselves on the back while Montana mom and pop small businesses are getting destroyed--North and South Dakota also have similar low deaths counts as Montana.
According to that same Politico state map when I checked the numbers on April 26th, North Dakota had 17 deaths, South Dakota had 11, Wyoming had 7, and Montana had 14.
Why does all of this matter? Each day these Montana mom and pop businesses are shut down could be the day their business dies, and never opens again.
Restaurants and bars still have to wait nearly a week to re-open, and other businesses like gyms and health clubs remain closed indefinitely until his phase 3 plan kicks in. If we're not honest about the numbers, and we keep moving the goalposts in the coronavirus fight, the governor and county health officials may unnecessarily keep these Montana businesses shut down even longer.