October 31, 2020

South Dakota governor hits back at media who attacked her COVID response, via Fox News, Oct 21, 2020.

Each of the Dakotas has more new virus cases per capita than any other states have seen since the pandemic began. And yet, for all the explosion of cases, South Dakota's lackluster Governor Kristi Noem (who has aspirations of higher office in the future) continues to refuse to institute measures that would slow the spread, and even more insanely, discourages mask use.

Source: Wall Street Journal

The percentage of tests for Covid-19 coming back positive in South Dakota has soared to 46%. That’s more than eight times the World Health Organization’s recommended 5% threshold for businesses to be open.

As Covid cases surge across the U.S. and in Europe, South Dakota and North Dakota hold a distinct position: Each has more new virus cases per capita than any other states have seen since the pandemic began. South Dakota has the most and North Dakota the second-most.

“Those who don’t want to wear a mask shouldn’t be shamed into wearing one,” wrote South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, in an opinion piece published in the Rapid City Journal last week. Hospital visits and caring for symptomatic people are times when masks are appropriate, she wrote.

Maggie Seidel, a senior adviser to Ms. Noem, said in an interview that the governor has no opinion on whether people should wear masks while in close proximity to others in public locations. Ms. Seidel said the governor’s response is a measured one to a virus that she said will spread with or without governmental restrictions.

“We feel pretty good about where we’re at,” Ms. Seidel said. “The governor is not going to change any of her approach—why should she?”

Noem's ridiculous op-ed last week in the Rapid City-Journal was an absurd piece of propaganda that didn't have any relationship to reality. They don't test anywhere near the level they should be. Everything remains open. Mask use is discouraged. Real science, as opposed to the junk pseudo-science espoused by Noem, is routinely ignored. For Noem, if more people just washed their hands the virus would go away.

From the beginning, my administration has committed itself to following the science, and we will continue to do so. Science tells us that for most people, the risks of COVID-19 are very low. Science also tells us that the normal hygiene measures that we all learned when we were young are very effective.

I’m going to continue to ask South Dakotans to be extra diligent about their personal hygiene and to stay home if they are sick. I’m going to continue to trust South Dakotans to make wise and well-informed decisions for themselves and their families. I’m also asking that we all show respect and understanding to those who make choices we may not agree with. Our trust in the data and in each other has been rewarded. This is a testament to the people of South Dakota – our greatest weapon against this common enemy.

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