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Having declared earlier this month that “South Dakota is not New York City,” Gov. Kristi Noem continues to resist calls to issue a stay-at-home order in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I have all the faith in the world of the people of South Dakota,” Noem said Monday. “They’ve been absolute rock stars in working to protect their communities and their families.”
On that note, as of early Tuesday, April 14, the state of less than one million people has 655 confirmed active cases, with six deaths, according to WorldOMeter. Overall, there have been a total of 868 cases.
Nonetheless, the media is breathlessly reporting South Dakota “is home to one of the largest single coronavirus clusters anywhere in the United States,” as the Washington Post characterized a COVID-19 outbreak at a Smithfield pork processing plant.
More than 300 workers at the giant plant have taken ill, and the company announced it was closing the Sioux Falls facility, which accounts for 4-5% of pork production in the U.S., according to Smithfield.
All of which prompted the Washington Post to say the closure was “threatening the U.S. food supply.”
Who knew liberals cared so much about bacon? Though we get a better feel for how Americans are compelled to engage in panic buying.
What is not as well reported is that Gov. Noem apparently asked Smithfield to close the plant.
The situation at Smithfield is a challenging one. They’ve self-imposed a 3-day shutdown of the plant. And while I applaud them for that, more decisive action is needed.
That’s why we’ve asked Smithfield to close the plant for two full weeks. (7/8)
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) April 12, 2020
South Dakota is not alone in not issuing a stay-at-home order. Six other states have taken the same stance, including Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
The commonality between the states, other than they are sparsely populated and are largely rural, is that they all have Republican governors — which explains the media interest in calling them out.
Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken has asked Noem to issue a stay-at-home order for the city, insisting this is the quickest way to make that happen, according to the Argus Leader.
The newspaper reported the mayor, a Republican, is pursuing a shelter in place order on the municipal level, but the city attorney advised that public notice laws require a minimum of seven days to implement any new public health ordinance.
There have been no such requirements slowing down cities all across America from enacting local restrictions.
“Quite honestly it’s crap that we have to wait that long to act,” TenHaken said. “That’s the law we have to live with, so we’re really asking for the help of the state to take more swift action because our nimbleness was stripped from us.”
The governor has already declared a public health emergency for Minnehaha County, which is where Sioux Falls is located, and issued an order for residents older than 65 or with underlying health issues to stay in their homes, the Leader reported.
Noem announced Monday that South Dakota will be the first state to run a state-wide trial of hydroxychloroquine, the drug President Trump has highlighted to the angst of the liberal media.
We’ve received the initial doses we need.
Thanks to the leadership, of @SanfordHealth with assistance from @AveraHealth & @_monumenthealth, we’re now the first state to do a full clinical trial to test whether hydroxychloroquine can treat and perhaps prevent #COVID19
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) April 13, 2020
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