Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is one of a few state governors who have not yet placed citizens under a stay-at-home order in response to the current outbreak. Not only has she not placed the order, she has been outspoken in her contention that doing so would stand against everything America is supposed to stand for. She sees her decision as empowering individuals to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their families.
She is also taking an aggressive position on the use of hydroxychloroquine in treating the virus, placing her ahead of many other state governors.
As a result, on Monday, Governor Noem received about the highest praise any good American could when she was attacked in the pages of the Washington Post. The Post used the occasion of an outbreak of the virus at South Dakota’s Smithfield Foods, a pork producer located in Sioux Falls, as an opportunity to attack the governor’s non-conformance. More than 300 workers at the facility have now tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus.
For anyone just learning of the story, that might give you pause to think that the governor should have locked down the state after all.
There are two problems with that conclusion. The first being South Dakota, a very rural state, has fewer than 1,000 reported cases of the virus (10th lowest in the nation), meaning the outbreak at Smithfield Foods accounts for nearly one-third of all statewide cases. The other problem, as was pointed out in The Federalist, is that since the pork plant is an “essential industry,” the workers would have been there even with a lockdown!
Of the 988 cases reported in South Dakota as of this wiring, nearly 800 are reported in the county where the plant is located. This makes the South Dakota experience with the virus one of the most localized and minimized in the entire country. This is despite the fact that while much of the nation has been locked down for at least three weeks, South Dakota has remained open……….
One of the principal differences between Republicans and Democrats is supposed to be that Democrats favor government intervention in nearly every aspect of our lives, while Republicans almost universally say they prefer limited government and individual rights. They say that, but these past few weeks prove that only a few of them mean it.
Governor Noem means it and she isn’t apologizing for it.