South Dakota Governor says COVID-19 response better than ‘virtually every other state,’ despite having overall second-highest rate of cases

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem. Photo Courtesy of the Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Committee through Getty Images

Kristi Noem stated her state’s pandemic response has been better than “virtually every other state.”

The South Dakota Governor has refused to difficulty a statewide masks mandate.

For months, South Dakota was one of the riskiest states within the nation in phrases of COVID-19 cases.

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South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem touted her response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a Fox News interview Tuesday evening, suggesting that her state has fared better than virtually all other states, despite having the next rate of overall cases than every state however one.

One out of every 500 South Dakotans has died from COVID-19, and one in every eight residents has contracted the virus. The Midwestern state has a inhabitants of 884,659 based on a 2019 inhabitants estimate by the US Census Bureau and has had 108,431 complete possible cases and 1,779 confirmed deaths because the pandemic started.

Noem detailed her strategy to dealing with the twin health and financial crises, saying the state took “a very different path” in defending the weak whereas nonetheless permitting folks to “put food on the table.”

“We did have tragedies and we did have losses,” Noem stated within the interview. “But we also got through it better than virtually every other state.”

Noem, a Republican, has struck a “freedom-first” technique, refusing to difficulty a statewide masks mandate and stressing the significance of defending the state’s economic system.

During the November peak, South Dakota was listed as one of the ten most harmful states when the state’s COVID check positivity rate neared 60%, the best within the nation on the time. Forbes known as her one of probably the most “defiantly anti-mask” governors.

Despite having the sixth smallest inhabitants within the nation, South Dakota has the second-highest overall rate of coronavirus cases as of February 1, based on Statista. Since the pandemic started, the state has had 12,236 cases per 100,000 folks, based on the information web site. Only North Dakota had the next rate.

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South Dakota’s cases and deaths have been trending downward since November, and plenty of are hopeful the tide is popping within the once-ravaged state as vaccines turn into extra available. The two Dakotas have excelled at vaccine rollout over the previous few weeks.

Still, it was unclear what numbers Noem was referring to when she recommended the state had made it via the pandemic better than virtually every other. And it is not the primary time she’s recommended the state is faring better than it truly is.

In November, because the state battled 9,000 energetic cases, she informed Fox News, “We’re doing really good in South Dakota. We’re managing COVID-19, but also our economy is thriving.”

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