GOP Gov. Kristi Noem Will Only Let South Dakotans Get High On COVID-19

GOP Gov. Kristi Noem Will Only Let South Dakotans Get High On COVID-19

No, you didn't imagine it. You saw it with your own eyes: South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem valiantly carrying an American flag while riding on horseback at the Second Annual Superspreader Event known as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. She was so proud she tweeted a photo of herself that boasted how “conservative principles restrain government, not expand its powers." Note the date: August 27, which was around when Meade County, home to Sturgis, reported a 1,500 percent increase in COVID-19 cases in the two weeks since the rally. She waved her flag and taunted COVID-19 like a bullfighter and the whole state got gored.

Noem had appeared in rugged frontier woman costume, complete with cowboy hat, on the August 12 "Fox & Friends" where she whined that Dr. Anthony Fauci picked on "Republican governors and people who love their freedom" because he questioned the wisdom of 500,000 mostly unmasked, likely unvaccinated dullards gathering together in a state teeming with COVID-19. Noem wondered why Dr. Fauci didn't criticize President Barack Obama for having a birthday party, which is almost hilarious false equivalency. She also complained that Dr. Fauci never said anything about the situation on the southern border. The southern border is the GOP's go-to answer to everything. You could ask Noem to identify the capital of South Dakota and she'd say, “Southern border!"

In an op-ed for Fox News, she further defended her beloved superspreader event.

Outside of the Fourth of July, the Sturgis Rally must be one of the most iconic celebrations of freedom in the country. And where better to celebrate than in South Dakota, the freest state in the nation?

The all-hyperbole button must've been stuck on her keypad. Like most Republicans, she believes South Dakota is freer than commie liberal states because people have a lot of guns and don't pay taxes, but surely Florida and Texas have just as much disregard for human life. She also raved about how attendance was on track to exceed last year's rally and that people had flocked to the state with Mount Rushmore and probably at least one decent diner.

Monday, the South Dakota Department of Health reported five COVID-19-related deaths, bringing the total to 2,067 within a year. The “crisis" at the southern border has resulted in at least 2,067 fewer deaths in South Dakota. Noem's priorities are not in line with reality. South Dakota had the fewest new virus cases per capita in the United States before Sturgis. Now, Noem is sending in the National Guard to cope with the current COVID-19 situation, which is an actual crisis.

"This past week, I had conversations with all three South Dakota hospital systems and asked them what they needed as cases start to rise again," she said in a statement. "Monument asked for the National Guard to assist them in their testing efforts, and we are happy to help."

Gee, why are cases rising again, governor? Dr. Fauci would probably be gracious in accepting your apology. Except Noem remains unbowed. Humility is for lesser people or at least those who aren't psychopaths.

From (an actually quite good article in) the New York Times:

Ms. Noem brushed aside criticism from Democrats and public health experts about the gathering, which was followed by a local Covid spike, saying on Fox News that the left was "accusing us of embracing death when we're just allowing people to make personal choices."

However, Noem and other self-proclaimed "freedom-loving" Republicans don't actually believe in letting people make their own "personal choices." After all, Republicans keep trying to ban abortion. Noem even sweats the small stuff like weed. South Dakota voters who'd survived Noem's governance voted to legalize medical and recreational marijuana last year. The people literally spoke but Governor Narc isn't listening: She's backed a lawsuit that would overturn the voter-approved measure on the constitutional grounds of "nuh-uh!" She said the state's voters made a bad decision when they approved the constitutional amendment, but Noem can't overturn the will of the people because she disagrees.

When it comes to COVID-19, Noem claims she lets "people take personal responsibility for decisions the government has no authority to make," but she's far more hands-on when it comes to your stash. She has no consistent set of beliefs, and that's probably why she's a rising GOP star.

[New York Times]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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