Quite a statement here issued by the City of Sturgis regarding the motorcycle rally and COVID-19.
"The safety of the
event was best illustrated through the smiles on the faces of national press who enjoyed the
event. "
Some real factual problems here, I don't know where to start. Wrong on:
- 'Path' of delta variant surges
- Case numbers trend in SD
- claiming more tests the cause for surge numbers
I'm on deadline, supposed to be writing a story, and all I can do is stare at this statement. Like
So sure -- Sturgis has gotten a ton of bad press this week from national outlets paring the Sturgis motorcycle rally to a swift rise in COVID-19 case counts in SD. And I assume this is what Sturgis city officials consider as a response to that news coverage?
Between this Sturgis statement and the Ravnsborg statement from yesterday, this has been a banner week for 👀 statements in South Dakota.

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More from @jayfug

1 Sep
BREAKING: Investigators thought SD AG #Ravnsborg should get charged with 2nd degree manslaughter (he wasn't), and told prosecutors as much. Per DPS Sec. Price letter today to Speaker Gosch, just released:
INBOX: Full letter from DPS price to Speaker Gosch, indexing the entire Ravnsborg investigation file, to use for impeachment proceedings against Ravnsborg. Full doc here: scribd.com/document/52274…
"In my opinion as a 24-year law enforcement officer, and the opinion of the highly trained highway patrol officers involved in this investigation, Mr. Ravnsborg should have been charged with 2nd Degree Manslaughter. The prosecution team was well aware of that position."
Read 17 tweets
9 Aug
BREAKING: South Dakota officials overrode educators to strip many mentions of Native Americans out of new K-12 social studies standards, whose revamp is a signature priority of Gov. Kristi Noem. (from colleague @ChrisVondracek) THREAD 1/3: inforum.com/news/governmen…
@ChrisVondracek 2/3 Here’s the July preface, and the one updated unilaterally by state education officials this month. See if you can spot the big differences (one example - July has “Incorporation of more diverse perspectives, especially those of Indigenous Native Americans” -- August doesn’t)
@ChrisVondracek 3/3 Want a specific example of how that dramatically alters the social studies standards? Here’s the change in Grade 8 History standards (“Oceti Sakowin Oyate” references are gone, and replaced):
Read 4 tweets
26 Feb
RAVNSBORG: It's been an eventful week on the "South Dakota attorney general killed a man, what now" beat. Here is a thread to catch up, all using South Dakota sources and coverage, with direct links to evidence when possible. (1/x)
FEB. 18: 159 days after South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg struck and killed pedestrian Joe Boever with his car, he is charged with 3 misdemeanors by county prosecutors. (2/x) mitchellrepublic.com/news/governmen…
The Ravnsborg charges are remarkable because, simply put, none of them have anything to do with Boever being killed. They're Class 2 misdemeanors for 1) using a cell phone while driving, 2) not staying in lane, 3) driving carelessly. Max penalty $1500 fine, 90 days in jail. (3/x)
Read 26 tweets
30 Dec 20
Just posted: My analysis of South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and her handling of the pandemic, and the national spotlight, in 2020.
"South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s hands-off pandemic approach initially appeared to be a winning gamble, and it catapulted her into the national spotlight. ... But COVID-19 wasn’t finished with South Dakota." My analysis: inforum.com/newsmd/coronav…
"Noem made 40 media appearances in the 65 days between the state's first reported COVID-19 case in March and her last regular pandemic news conference in mid-May ... Just over half of her media appearances, 22 in all, were with conservative national media outlets"
Read 6 tweets
23 Nov 20
Also notable from this interview: Sanford Health Chief Medical Officer Allison Suttle says Gov. Noem should institute a state mask mandate -- "that would help us in our attempt to fight this virus"
(Sanford has, as an institution, not backed mask mandates, unlike Avera Health)
Now usually a CMO's statement would show me a health system's stance. But in this case, CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft has said mask mandates aren't needed. But that was in interviews as Sanford Health was actively distancing itself from things he was saying about COVID-19. So.... ?
Worth noting that CMO Suttle has gone her own way before and been outspoken about state policy. Here's from Oct. 2019, on Medicaid expansion (SD has rejected Medicaid expansion): duluthnewstribune.com/lifestyle/heal…
Read 5 tweets
20 Nov 20
SCOOP: *Damage control time*
To employees, Sanford Health's top execs now disavowing CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft's email about why he won't wear a mask, including his claims he doesn't have to because he is immune to COVID-19. My report, and their full email: inforum.com/newsmd/health-…
Sanford Health top execs: "We know that words matter, and words have power, and we regret that the message left many frustrated and disappointed. You are our heroes working tirelessly to take care of our patients and we hear you, support you and appreciate you."
On Krabbenhoft's claims he's immune because he's had COVID-19: "When it comes to immunity the science is evolving and we must continue to follow CDC guidelines. Whether you’ve had the virus or not, it is recommended that you wear a mask when you cannot be socially distanced."
Read 5 tweets

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