Regardless of being instructed to gather this data the outcomes weren’t made public. It took a Sunshine Regulation request from the Unbiased and the Documenting COVID-19 project to acquire charts and emails related to the evaluation. These emails present that the evaluation was truly carried out by Assistant Bureau Chief Nathan Koffarnus, who forwards the outcomes again to Division of Well being Director Donald Kauerauf. Whereas acknowledging that different variables are to be thought of, Kaurauf makes this assertion in his response.
“I feel we will say with nice confidence reviewing the general public well being literature after which wanting on the leads to your examine that communities the place masks had been required had a decrease positivity price per 100,000 and skilled decrease demise charges.”
Referencing one of many charts hooked up, the distinction is past stark. Masks aren’t simply efficient, they’re shockingly efficient.
These outcomes, and the assertion from the Division of Well being, didn’t seem within the supplies ready to replace Parson’s cupboard on the pandemic and weren’t made a part of any public launch. Neither the governor’s workplace nor the Division of Well being has responded to requests for remark.
Missouri Gov. Parson hardly ever seems on the highest listing of Republican governors. That’s as a result of, having stumbled into workplace after former Gov. Eric Greitens resigned in the course of a scandal that included federal charges of invasion of privacy, Parsons shouldn’t be on anybody’s shortlist of Republicans who may exchange Trump on the 2024 ticket. Nonetheless, with regards to politicizing COVID-19 at each alternative, at huge value to the residents of his state, Parsons has not missed a beat. With help from radical legal professional basic Eric Schmitt, Parsons has launched an assault on masks mandates, vaccine mandates, and the facility of native officers that matches his extra notorious colleagues like Ron DeSantis or Greg Abbott.
As with many different states, Missouri tends to have city areas the place Democratic assist runs excessive, and rural areas that run from crimson to blood crimson. Within the state’s two largest cities—Kansas Metropolis and St. Louis—Democratic officers tried to guard residents by way of masks mandates and social distancing restrictions. On the similar time, Parson did every little thing he might to undercut these actions. That features govt orders limiting native authority, stripping energy from county well being officers, and ordering all the state authorities to cooperate in a lawsuit in opposition to vaccine mandates.
The New York Times knowledge tracker signifies that St. Louis Metropolis has averaged 206 deaths per 100,000 all through the pandemic, and Kansas Metropolis has averaged 192. Nonetheless, rural Grundy County, Missouri has averaged 558 deaths per 100,000, with 5 different rural Missouri counties are additionally seeing deaths at charges over 500 per 100,000. Vaccination in these similar rural counties averages 41%. Douglas County, MO, has averaged 478 deaths per 100,000, twice the nationwide common, whereas having a vaccination price of simply 23%.
Whereas the distinction in vaccination charges actually contributes to the huge hole between masked and unmasked areas within the state, the hole was already current and intensely vital earlier than the primary vaccines had been accessible.