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Hanna to Gov: Any Plans to Contain Sturgis Rally Outbreak?

Rapid City attorney Dana Hanna has a simple question: “What, if anything, is the State Department of Health doing to protect the people of South Dakota” from the absolutely foreseeable and clearly precedented (see New Orleans, Mardi Gras, March 2020) public health danger posed by the Sturgis Rally to his tribal clients and everyone else around the Black Hills and South Dakota. Mr. Hanna posed this question to Governor Kristi Noem and Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon in a July 17 letter.

Noem and Malsam-Rysdon have yet to respond directly; perhaps they’ll review his letter here and respond to Mr. Hanna and the rest of us here in the comment section:

Dana Hanna, letter to Gov. Kristi Noem and Sec. Kim Malsam-Rysdon, 2020.07.17, p. 1.
Dana Hanna, letter to Gov. Kristi Noem and Sec. Kim Malsam-Rysdon, 2020.07.17, p. 1.
Dana Hanna, letter to Gov. Kristi Noem and Sec. Kim Malsam-Rysdon, 2020.07.17, p. 2.
Dana Hanna, letter to Gov. Kristi Noem and Sec. Kim Malsam-Rysdon, 2020.07.17, p. 2.

Governor Noem, Secretary Malsam-Rysdon, the floor is yours….

Related Retreat: Team Certified Sports has canceled its Rally boxing matches scheduled for the Buffalo Chip on August 11, fearing someone might get hurt:

Organizers considered that there will be a massive crowd of possibly up to 300,000 Rally goers coming from various highly COVID-19-infected states. They also determined it would be difficult to practice social distancing and could not expose their staff, fighters, family members, and celebrity guests to such risks [“Covid Concerns Cancel Sturgis Boxing Event,” Black Hills Pioneer, 2020.07.31].

I guess Rallygoers won’t be able to roll with the punches.


  1. jerry 2020-07-31

    “Roll with the punches”, indeed, good one. Major League Baseball has been in play for 8 days and now 20% of the league is postponed due to the trump virus. Our little Tinker Belle cannot spread enough pixie dust to take care of this train wreck.

  2. Loren 2020-07-31

    I thought that this and other inquiries had been asked and answered by Dr Noem. We in SD leave decisions of health to each individual and count on them to do the right thing. Isn’t that the Ron DeSantis approach? The only reason we haven’t been effected like Florida? They have more people than cattle.

  3. cibvet 2020-07-31

    Answer to the question “ahhh no, Not really, just wash your hands!”

  4. grudznick 2020-07-31

    Maybe she’s not “lying,” Mr. H. Maybe she is just mistaken.

    And it is a shame about Mr. o not having windows after teaching for as many years as Mr. H has been alive. If grudznick was the fatcat administrator in charge of his school he would have several big windows.

  5. mike from iowa 2020-07-31

    And Noem Nothing just last week attended an indoor rodeo without masks and social distancing protocols in place, with Soo Fails Mayor Ten Hut.

    I would imaging being in an enclosed arena with sweaty goat ropers and sweatier bulls would be an ideal place to facilitate transmission of covid virus. Had to be a lot of heavy breathing of the non-romantic kind going on.

  6. Jake 2020-07-31

    I doubt if any of us should hold our breath in excitement for a reply to above from Noem. It’s not in her to accept being held responsible for any illness resulting from the Rally. The money waving in the wind is all that counts to SD coffered interests. Wyoming cancels 3 major rodeos for the year-some with over 100 yr history. But not SD! Calgary Stampede/Edmonton also. Yet we insist that all is well–to quote George W Bush “Just go shopping”!! Lives, sicknesses etc. “Oh hell, you’ll just have to be tough”. Don’t hold your breath, SD!

  7. grudznick 2020-07-31

    Isn’t that Mr. Hanna fellow kind of a scam lawyer and ambulance chaser just out for his own notoriety, Mr. Jake. I doubt anybody in the real world will take his letter very seriously. Golly Heck, grudznick could issue a letter that would be take with more gravity by the masses and medias.

  8. Debbo 2020-07-31

    “Reckless indifference” on the part of the entire SDGOP. Shame.

  9. Jake 2020-08-01

    Grudz-why should anyone take your governor’s advice seriously? I would gladly take Hanna’s questions to heart as they pertain to real life situations of grave consequences. Unlike when you drip gravy on your protruding belly….

  10. Dan 2020-08-01

    Jerry, first off, you’re an idiot to call it the Trump Virus. More like The Blue Virus. Second, if you practice all the precautions, not so likely it will kill 300,000 people. Get a grip people. I’ve traveled from Florida, to Hilton Head, to Kentucky, to Iowa City, to golf functions, to fishing functions, to volleyball functions, and put on 9000 miles in the process. I’m still clean and still traveling.
    All since March 15 th . Social distance, wash hands, sterile wipes in my car, at home, and exempt from wearing a mask. Get a F-en grip people. The flu killed more people 3 years ago. And bikers are intelligent people. They will be responsible and take care of business.
    Ride Hard or Stay Home. 💖💖💖

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-08-01

    The intelligent bikers will not be gathering in crowds of tens of thousands in Sturgis and increasing everyone’s risk of spreading coronavirus.

    If it is idiotic to call it the Trump Virus, it is at least equally idiotic to call it the Blue Virus. Pick a rebuttal lane, Dan: cheap insults or facts.

  12. bearcreekbat 2020-08-01

    Dan appears to be incorrect in his statement “The flu killed more people 3 years ago.”

    CDC estimates that influenza was associated with 45 million illnesses, 21 million medical visits, 810,000 hospitalizations, and 61,000 deaths during the 2017–2018 influenza season. This burden was higher than any season since the 2009 pandemic and serves as a reminder of how severe seasonal influenza can be.

    The last death count I saw for this year alone in the US from Covid 19 is at 156,000. Last I knew 156,000 was a more than 61,000 and the year is only about 1/2 over. But I am glad when anyone, including Dan, escapes infection, and hope that his luck (kind of like the luck of hitting an inside straight draw in poker) holds out.

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-08-01

    Ride hard, then go straight home instead of stopping at crowded bars, campgrounds, and strip clubs.

    A long solo motorcycle ride sounds like one of the safest vacations one could go on: out in the fresh air all day long, never experiencing any real viral load. Pack some trail mix, stop to pee alone in the woods, pay at the pump when you buy gas… you bet! Motorcycling is great for social distancing!

  14. mike from iowa 2020-08-01

    Updated drumpf body count…

    Coronavirus Cases:

    Still more than 61K.

  15. Donna Marie Haukaas 2020-08-01

    Sturgis Rally: Risking Lives for Money

    Sturgis, SD has a population of over 7,000 people. The City of Sturgis is offering 550 Covid tests after the annual Motorcycle Rally, which last year brought an estimated 490,000 attendees, including people from foreign countries. According to my count 550 Covid tests is grossly deficient. Every citizen of Sturgis should have access to free testing after the Rally. Y’all want the Rally in the time of Covid? Then the responsible thing is to provide free tests to any Sturgis citizen who wants it. We won’t get the high attendance as in past years, because of the Covid virus, however the influx of 100,000 or more is expected. DO THE RIGHT THING. Financially, it should be feasible, after all isn’t the Rally the biggest money maker of the year? I’ll be coming for my test, and bringing my 91 year old mother. HEADS UP STURGIS CITY COUNCIL.

    Donna Marie Haukaas
    Citizen of Sturgis, SD

  16. mike from iowa 2020-08-01

    Jerry, first off, you’re an idiot to call it the Trump Virus. More like The Blue Virus.

    Who has done more to facilitate the nationwide spread of drumpf virus than drumpf himself? drumpf has done nothing positive to check this menace and everything in his power to make it worse. It is drumpf’s virus alright, and then some.

  17. Dan 2020-08-01

    Jerry, I didn’t pick the lane, you did with your trump virus comment. I was just narrowing it to one lane, following your lead. You started it.

    And in reference to the numbers beavercreek, 61,000 died during the flu. If CDC would have piled every in house death to the.flu, as Covid has, we would have been out there as well. You can make numbers say anything you want and the Covid numbers have done just that. They have put fear in the American people and it is unfounded. 156,000 deaths? And what others deaths, are lumped in that #. 60% are non Covid #. Look it up.
    It is so stupid to argue with a bunch of Sheeple. You just fall in line, Wear your mask, don’t go to church, shop at Wal-Mart but not your small town stores, park your cars, close local restaurants but shop at Menards, Wal-Mart, and all the big venues. You are exactly what the socialistic government want you to do. Fall in line, straight to the.furnaces.

  18. bearcreekbat 2020-08-01

    Dan, writing to someone called beavercreek, raises the question of whether covid 19 deaths have been accurately counted and suggests that they have been overcounted to the extent that about 156,000 reported covid deaths are less than CDC’s count of 61,000 flu deaths. Dan has provided no link or resource to support his claims.

    It is true that the accuracy of the covid 19 death count is in question, but generally the concern is that more, not less, people have died from covid 19. Following Dan’d advice to “look it up” I found no credible links or reports that support Dan’s claim.

    If it helps, however, I found a Scientific American article that explains how covid 19 deaths are counted.

    The article makes some relevant points, including:

    . . . data on excess deaths suggest coronavirus death tolls are likely an underestimate . . .

    The reality is that assigning a cause of death is not always straightforward, even pre-pandemic, and a patchwork of local rules and regulations makes getting valid national data challenging. However, data on excess deaths in the United States over the past several months suggest that COVID-19 deaths are probably being undercounted rather than overcounted. . .

    . . . “Most of the cases are pretty straightforward,” Fowkes told Live Science. “The lungs are usually so severely involved with pathology, so they are two to three times or more the normal weight of a normal lung.” . . .

    . . . Meanwhile, as the political debate over the response to the virus heats up, some have argued that death reports are being deliberately skewed. Aiken rejected the notion of a vast conspiracy by medical examiners; medical examiners are designed to be independent entities, she said, and they run the political gamut from conservative to liberal.

    “It always cracks me up,” she said. “Medical examiners and coroners aren’t organized enough to have a conspiracy.” . . .

    . . . Both undercounts and overcounts of COVID-19 deaths are possible, Wolfson said, but it’s not yet clear which is more likely, or whether they might simply balance each other out. Fowkes said that based on her experience, it’s more likely that COVID-19 deaths are being missed than overcounted. That’s because New York is among several cities that show spikes in deaths at home, and these anomalous spikes could be due to untested, untreated COVID-19.

    Perhaps, the best clue as to whether COVID-19 deaths have been undercounted or overcounted is excess mortality data. Excess mortality is deaths above and beyond what would normally be expected in a given population in a given year. CDC data shows a spike of excess mortality in early 2020, adding up to tens of thousands of deaths. . . .

    Hope this information helps. I wish that Dan’s comment was accurate but as far as I can tell so far it is a factual mis-statement.

  19. bearcreekbat 2020-08-01

    Donna’s point about there being only 550 tests for so many potential attendees at the Rally, let alone the population of Sturgis itself, is one of the reasons given to suspect undercounting (rather than overcounting as posited by Dan) the actual number of deaths caused by Covid 19.

    . . . In several states, the deaths occurred before the availability of COVID-19 diagnostic tests and thus weren’t counted as coronavirus deaths. The estimated number of excess deaths varied significantly among states. . .

    . . . in the early part of the pandemic, when diagnostic tests were in especially short supply, only about 10% to 15% of all coronavirus infections were diagnosed. “These findings demonstrate that estimates of the death toll of COVID-19 based on excess all-cause mortality may be more reliable than those relying only on reported deaths, particularly in places that lack widespread testing,” . . .

  20. mike from iowa 2020-08-01

    It is so stupid to argue with a bunch of Sheeple. You just fall in line, Wear your mask, don’t go to church, shop at Wal-Mart but not your small town stores, park your cars, close local restaurants but shop at Menards, Wal-Mart, and all the big venues. You are exactly what the socialistic government want you to do. Fall in line, straight to the.furnaces.

    Got a live one here. Overdramatize much, Sport? Bet he is headed straight to Fake Noize to collect his doggie treat for telling us libs a thing or two. ROTFLMAO!

  21. jerry 2020-08-01

    Dan, bless your heart, put on your red hat and get a hat for it. The trump virus just killed 4 more in South Dakota. Oh and Dan, a quad is not really a motorcycle, just sayin.

  22. jerry 2020-08-01

    Donna, the City of Sturgis just got reckless with trying to convince folks that the Covid at this year’s die fest is not really anything that 500 one time tests won’t take care of. The council is as ignorant as the people coming to the kill fest called Sturgis. They didn’t fool you though and many more like you. Toss the trash from that city office, they are not looking out for the citizens best interests.

  23. Eve Fisher 2020-08-01

    Interesting that all of the people who say, “Well, 61,000 died of the flu” never mention that that is with a vaccine for the flu. And there is treatment for the flu as well. Meanwhile, we’ve managed 150,000 deaths from COVID-19 in 4 months, and climbing steadily. And there is no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19. And 2/3 of survivors are showing long-term heart conditions. And it’s more of a blood-clotting disease than a respiratory one. And it’s not the flu, it’s not even in the same family of viruses. And it’s incredibly contagious.

  24. Debbo 2020-08-01

    Oh Mike. Your governor’s approval rating has fallen to 28%, worst in the country.


  25. jerry 2020-08-01

    The trump virus is killing baseball, literally. My Boston Red Sox have lost a pitcher for the season, a season that will soon be a memory, to the Covid.

    “Boston Red Sox ace Eduardo Rodríguez will miss the rest of the 2020 season as he recovers from a heart issue the team believes is related to the pitcher’s recent battle with the coronavirus.

    Doubts over MLB season grow as Covid-19 forces 17th postponement in 10 days

    The 27-year-old left-hander, the team’s presumptive No 1 starter who had been expected to start on opening day before he was sidelined, has been diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart that has been found at a high rate in recovered coronavirus patients.”

    Sure, madhatters, he is an old 27 year old. Gwaad, the trump virus will be with us for a long long time.

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