Governor Kristi Noem bragged Monday to the Legislature that she has kept coronavirus cases from overloading South Dakota’s hospitals.
Evidently part of her strategy for keeping hospital beds available is to send Indian patients to Minnesota:
A small hospital serving the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has sent two coronavirus patients to an out-of-state hospital in recent days, the tribe’s health department said Wednesday, even as South Dakota’s top health officials insist the state has plenty of hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients.
The Cheyenne River Sioux Health Department reported that it tried to find better-equipped hospitals to transfer coronavirus patients, but that 14 facilities said that they were also diverting COVID-19 patients. Eventually, the tribal health department found a hospital in Burnsville, Minnesota, that would accept patients [Stephen Groves, “Tribe Says It Had to Find Out-of-State Hospitals for Its Covid-19 Patients,” AP via Rapid City Journal, 2020.10.07].
But golly, if Kristi says our hospitals aren’t overloaded, then they must not be overloaded… and we must just be turning away Indian patients because we’re racist.