Politics - News Analysis
Anti-Mask, Anti-Shut Down South Dakota Governor Brags that Her State is Only the Second Worst COVID State
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is a piece of work. She is, of course, the one that hosted the Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore for which she specifically said that masks wouldn’t be worn, nor were the people on stage or in the crowd distanced at all. She also allowed the Sturgis biker rally – the biggest in the world that brings in 250,000 people and a lot of money to the state in taxes. She had the gumption to brag this week that her state does not have the highest number of new coronavirus cases per capita.
She is not lying. It is only the second-highest state. So finally, we have found a prominent Republican who tells the truth. Normally a South Dakota governor would not be considered that “prominent” but she is one of the few elected women in the GOP and thus needed for diversity. She is also very attractive which also seems to be an entrance requirement for prominent women in the GOP. It might be the “very attractive” thing that also makes Trump so interested in her, beyond her being highly pro-Trump, also an entrance requirement.
So at a press conference on Wednesday, she really laid into the media for their unfair coverage in saying COVID was completely out of control and in danger of running out of places for medical care. It is getting a lot of coverage: LINK
Now, some in the media are saying that South Dakota is the worst in the world right now, and that is absolutely false. I’d encourage you to look at the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center,” she told reporters. “There you’ll see that there are other states with far higher new confirmed cases per 100,000/1,000 people compared to South Dakota.”‘
Well, we don’t know about the world, but the anti-mask governor was wrong to use “other states” in the plural, but we’ll give her a pass on that because she’s right in that they’re not the worst.
A local television station’s fact-check on Thursday determined that Noem’s claim was partially right: Just one state — neighboring North Dakota — has a higher rate of new confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins data.
But as the pandemic has overwhelmed the state, Noem has refused to take action to curb it. She was one of a handful of governors who never issued any state-at-home order, claiming to be standing up for “citizens’ rights.”
It is tough to tell if any action she might take would be followed by the right-wingers in her state. But there’s no doubt that her refusal to consider even the least intrusive means to protect people – masks – has surely led to needless death. This also helps with her prominence in the GOP, not caring about regular people – also an entrance requirement.