Polis avoided these subjects as long as possible, but he was hampered by having little new to say — and reporters were soon pitching him questions on the topic. His responses delivered a lot more swings and misses than hits.
At the outset of the event, Polis offered up information from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The stats showed 2,655 new hospitalizations related to COVID-19 on November 22, with hospitalizations at 1,576 — but Polis has been playing games with the latter number for months. The CDPHE combines the number of patients with both confirmed and suspected cases of the virus into a single total, but Polis tends to count only those with a confirmed diagnosis. This tactic lowers the department's overall patient number by several percentage points.
Of the 1,576 patients with confirmed COVID cases, Polis noted that 1,320 are unvaccinated.
From there, Polis repeated information he's covered in several recent press conferences. For instance, he noted the state's efforts to add 500 new hospital beds to the close-to-overwhelmed system by mid-December; touted the availability of monoclonal antibody treatment, which can reduce hospitalizations by as much as 70 percent if given shortly after symptoms arise; and offered safety tips for Thanksgiving that included testing for unvaccinated dinner guests.
When he ran out of stuff to reiterate, Polis invited inquiries from journalists, who naturally wanted to talk to him about the new mask-and-vax mandate in metro Denver. He responded by admitting that such regulations are "not something we're considering as a state," since he's supportive of local control.
At one point, Polis noted that governors across the country have employed different tactics in regard to face coverings — some making them a requirement in public indoor spaces, others trying to ban their use entirely. He framed his decision to let counties and communities make their own rules as the most respectful and equitable option available.
Given the pre-Thanksgiving timing, he also talked about things for which he's thankful, including the wonders of Colorado. But he seemed even more filled with gratitude when the press conference was over.