If you've watched Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show lately, you probably think the coronavirus outbreak is worse than ever and is never going away. Her message night after night has been: Everything must stay shut down. We are in grave danger.
So you can get why she doesn't like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem. For months Noem has taken a much different approach, one that is a bit sunnier and doesn't require massive shutdowns that have put way too many people out of business. She recently posted a lighthearted clip about how hunting is the perfect social distancing activity, which Maddow used as bait to try and paint the governor as a weak leader who is ignoring the COVID outbreak in her own state.
Noem kindly asked Maddow to cool it, before digging into some details. As she and her communications have noted, COVID patients are taking only 8% of the hospital beds in South Dakota, and just 6% of their ICU beds.
Stop spreading fear.— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) September 24, 2020
Only 8% of South Dakota’s hospital beds are occupied by COVID patients. We have and will continue to manage our resources to care for the people who need help.
The people of South Dakota have accomplished this WITHOUT draconian lockdowns. #FactsNotFear https://t.co/VIUPmMPaSm
Noem has spent months trying to assure South Dakotans that what they hear on TV may not always be accurate. She knows that the doom and gloom messages coming from liberals are not helping anyone cope during the pandemic. So, she's taken a different approach. Instead of enforcing stay at home orders as her counterparts in other states have, she decided that she didn't want to "take too much power in a time of crisis."
Before she challenged Maddow's statistics, Noem rejected a study that claimed a motorcycle rally held in Sturgis, SD last month resulted in hundreds of thousands of COVID cases. She called the report "science fiction" and said the study was built on "incredibly faulty assumptions that do not reflect the actual facts and data."
She accused the researchers, and the media who "breathlessly" reported on their study, of trying to stoke fear to limit Americans' personal freedom.
"Under the guise of academic research, this report is nothing short of an attack on those who exercised their personal freedom..."
South Dakota has just over 200 COVID deaths. If Maddow wants to pick on a state, why not pick on New York, where under Gov. Cuomo's leadership nearly 33,000 people have succumbed to the virus.