Gov. Walz claims — without evidence — that he saved 5,200 lives by not following Iowa’s COVID-19 policies

Gov. Walz is notoriously thin-skinned. At an appearance in Iowa last week, he said:

“There is kind of an unwritten rule when we are dealing with things not to criticize other governors,” Walz told the journalists. “Gov. Reynolds found the need to come to Minnesota (last year) to come and criticize me (over Walz’s COVID leadership). And I’ll make note of this, if I had followed Gov. Reynolds’ policies around COVID, I’d have 5,200 more dead Minnesotans. The numbers simply speak for themselves.”

The Governor has, it seems, been stewing on Gov. Reynolds’ comments for a year, so much so that he has generated this estimate of 5,200 lives saved by him not adopting policies like those seen in Iowa. But, given how notoriously useless Minnesota’s COVID-19 forecasts were, and his own track record of simply making such numbers up, it is worth asking how the Governor arrived at this estimate.

No doubt Minnesota’s media will be following up on this.