I’ve stopped providing full stenography on the spin, misdirection and occasional outright falsehoods of Governor Hutchinson’s daily silver-lining briefings on COVID-19. (Don’t get us started again on his misrepresentation of what experts say is an acceptable positive COVID-19 testing rate.)

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So I ignored him yesterday when he again claimed, on a day with more than 1,000 new cases in Arkansas, that the trend was flattening.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, as the paper of record, more completely reports the governor’s utterances and featured this statement today.

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“Obviously, today there’s been a spike up, but you look at the overall trend line and it’s flat,” Hutchinson said. “Now obviously, we want it to go down, but I think whenever it’s flat, I think that means it hasn’t reached the tipping point that it is out of control.”

The overall trend line is flat? A 100 percent jump in the rolling average number of new cases in a little more than a month (from 400 to 800) is flat? Trends are not established by two or three days.

He actually spoke those words while displaying the figures that put the lie to them — the chart with the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Arkansas (which coincidentally rose to 16th among the states today on the daily Democrat-Gazette compilation of cases per 100,000, despite a lower testing rate than many states higher on the list.)

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If that is a flat trend line, Everest is flat.

The governor spread this manure on the same day he dragged out Education Secretary Johnny Key to assert the state has never wavered on its guidance for how school districts must reopen, after at least two changes of direction that sent several school districts back to the drawing board as recently as yesterday. There are STILL school board members in Arkansas who aren’t entirely sure what the state is saying about in-class schooling. And even less certain about everything that will happen when they do open.

Flat? Flat-out pathetic.

 

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