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South Dakota Sails Through the COVID-19 Crisis June 22, 2020

Posted by geoff in COVID-19, News.

I’m sure you all remember the media pillorying of South Dakota’s governor, Kristi Noem, when she decided not to lock down South Dakota when COVID-19 hit:

  • US News & World Report: Noem Urges South Dakotans to ‘Hang in There’ During Pandemic (3/22/2020)
  • Forbes: South Dakota Refused To Shut Down, Now Faces One Of The Largest Coronavirus Outbreaks In The Country (4/14/2020)
  • Washington Post: South Dakota’s governor resisted ordering people to stay home. Now it has one of the nation’s largest coronavirus hot spots. (4/14/2020)
  • Politico: Hot spots erupt in farm belt states where governors insist lockdowns aren’t needed (4/15/2020)
  • Daily Beast: Hannity Lauds South Dakota, Home of Worst U.S. Virus Cluster, for Never Having to Shut Down (4/16/2020)
  • Washington Post: There’s no coronavirus lockdown in South Dakota – We never closed down. Doctors like me wish we would. (4/27/2020)

She had to go on the news to defend her decision, much to the mockery of her critics. So how did it all play out (data from here)?


Pretty much like you’d think. The naysayers got themselves in a lather over nothing. South Dakota has had a trivial number of deaths due to COVID-19; on average no more than 2 a day.

This Kristi Noem, though – she needs to play on a larger stage. She didn’t hesitate to call out the National Guard to suppress violence in Sioux Falls (June 1, 2020), and the violence disappeared immediately.


1. Sobek - June 22, 2020

I bet real estate in Rapid City is doing better than in St. Paul right now.

2. lauraw - June 23, 2020

Geoff, thanks for being an island of sanity in a sea of toxicity.

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