Beshear’s Facebook post shows generally stable virus numbers; comments on it reveal support, skepticism and unhappiness

By Al Cross
Kentucky Health News
Measures of the novel-coronavirus pandemic remained generally stable Sunday, as Gov. Andy Beshear made only a Facebook post giving the day’s numbers.
The state reported 1,509 new cases, marking the fifth consecutive Sunday that the number has been lower than the previous Sunday. Reporting on Sundays and Mondays is limited due to less testing and lab work on weekends; on top of that, this is the end of a four-day holiday weekend for most people.
The share of Kentuckians testing positive for the virus in the past seven days is 8.06 percent, which is also the average of the last four days.
The number of Covid-19 patients in Kentucky hospitals continued to decline, to 1,504, the lowest total since 1,442 on Nov. 16. Intensive-care units had 411 of those patients, about the average of the last 10 days. ICU patients on ventilators totaled 217, about the average of the last five days.
The state attributed the deaths of 21 more people to Covid-19, for a total of 2,555, but did not publish the usual list of deaths by gender, age and county.
Counties with 10 or more new cases were: Jefferson, 169; Fayette, 101; Henderson, 64; Boone, 63; Daviess, 60; Kenton, 56; Hardin, 43; Bullitt, 41; Calloway, 40; McCracken, 37; Pulaski, 36; Boyd, 34; Warren, 34; Boyle, 32; Letcher, 32; Campbell, Henry  an Lincoln, 25; Shelby, 23; Nelson, 22; Christian and Wayne, 21; Graves and McCreary, 20; Breathitt, 18; Madison, 17; Franklin, 16; Carter, 15; Grayson, 14; Scott, 13; Meade and Taylor, 12; Elliott, Floyd and Oldham, 11; and Clark and Union, 10.
African Americans’ share of Kentucky coronavirus cases and Covid-19 deaths continue to decline. The state’s latest daily report says 9.5% of cases and 9.8% of deaths are among Blacks, who are about 8.5% of the state’s population.
Not-always-social media: Beshear’s Facebook post at around 3 p.m. generated more than 400 comments by 5 p.m. Most were favorable, but some reflected skepticism and unhappiness.
“I guess these fake numbers will get better every day until inauguration day,” one man wrote, prompting several replies, such as “Yeah, just like it was gonna disappear after Election Day!” and “What a heartless thing to say. People are losing loved ones. I hope you don’t have to experience that to start believing it.”
To the numbers of cases, the sick and the dead, one man replied, “Great, now what about unemployment? That’s just as important as these numbers are.”
Many defended Beshear. One said, “Some people refuse to listen and they have caused the senseless deaths of others.”
That brought this reply: “Just as the governor did not cause unemployment, permanent shuttering of small businesses, and collateral damage to students through online education, the people who refused to listen did not cause ‘the senseless deaths of others.’ The pandemic virus caused each. Playing the blame game helps no one.” And that brought this rejoinder: “Those not doing what it takes to slow transmission of the virus are most definitely to blame for the deaths.”
In other coronavirus news Sunday:
  • The smaller-than-expected initial supplies of vaccines are nothing unusual and should not keep most Americans from being able to get the vaccine by late April, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN‘s “State of the Union: “I believe we’ll catch up with the projection.”
  • State Rep. Thomas Huff, R-Shepherdsville, said on Facebook that has spent the past week in intensive care after testing positive the virus, the Courier Journal reports, adding that Huff “has expressed doubt on the validity of Covid-19 data and has been seen without a mask in the Capitol.”
  • “President Trump on Sunday abruptly signed a measure providing $900 billion in pandemic aid and funding the government through September, ending last-minute turmoil he himself had created over legislation that will offer an economic lifeline to millions of Americans and avert a government shutdown,” reports Emily Cochrane of The New York Times. “The signing was a sudden reversal for the president, who last week appeared poised to derail the bill. But the move came after two critical unemployment programs lapsed, guaranteeing a delay in benefits for millions of unemployed Americans.”
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