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Coronavirus Killed More South Dakotans in Last Three Weeks Than Flu Killed in 2017

South Dakota State University professor and epidemiologist Bonny Specker told NPR several days ago that she hopes educating people about coronavirus will get them to “listen to the science and not the politics and misinformation.” Dr. Specker is promoting that message with her daily blog posts, offering hard numbers, mini-lessons in epidemiology, and regular exhortations to “wear a mask, socially distance, and get tested if you have symptoms” (the sorts of simple, effective pandemic-control actions our Governor refuses to do).

Dr. Specker is trying to hold the candle of science against the hurricane of misinformation peddled by Donald Trump and Kristi Noem. After Trump’s repeated lie last week that the flu is more deadly than coronavirus, Dr. Specker offered these stats showing that coronavirus is scything down South Dakotans at a sharper clip than any recent flu season:

  • 38 deaths in the past week is greater than the median number of deaths per year (n=32) from the flu over the past decade
  • 86 deaths in the past three weeks is greater than the 73 deaths that occurred in 2017 during the worst flu outbreak in South Dakota that occurred in the past decade [Dr. Bonny Specker, “October 10, 2020 Data Report,” Bonny’s Blog, 2020.10.10].

Turn off the White House and our absent Governor. Read Dr. Specker’s updates and other straight science to understand what’s happening in this pandemic and what we can do to rein it in.


  1. mike from iowa 2020-10-13 07:43

    Here it is, folks- 8 million cases of drumpf pandemic and 220k dead bodies for the body count…

    United States
    Coronavirus Cases:

    Brought to you by uncaring, unfeeling, un-American wingnuts in general and drump the schlumpf in particular.

  2. Eve Fisher 2020-10-13 09:12

    As of yesterday SD (population 880,000) has had 288 deaths, 28,925 cases, and a current high of 6,062 active cases.
    This means that 1 out of every 30 people has or has had the virus.
    1 out every 145 people is currently active.
    1 out of every 3,055 people has died.
    Here in Sioux Falls metro (Minnehaha and Lincoln counties, 230,000 population), we currently have 9880 cases, 1,703 active cases, and 98 deaths.
    This means that in Sioux Falls metro, 1 out of every 23 either has or has had the virus.
    1 out of every 135 is currently active.
    1 out of every 2,346 people has died.

    Heck of a job, Kristi.

  3. kj trailer trash 2020-10-13 13:37

    “Righties” say “look at the deaths, look at the hospitalizations.” Well, the deaths have gone up plenty, haven’t they, as listed here by Dr. S. and Ms. F? Hospitalizations? Just recalling from memory here, but I recall a week or so ago where the number of current hospitalizations in SD went up 9% in one day, from 245 to 273. Then, unlike tax cuts for the rich, they trickled down for several days. Now today, 10/13/2020, there are no new deaths listed but there are 414 new cases and, more importantly, we went up almost 9% again in one day in number of current hospitalizations. Not to mention, I hate to say, that some of any daily declines in hospitalizations must be due to transferring some patients to funeral home coolers. Nothing to see here KovidKristi.

  4. kj trailer trash 2020-10-13 13:45

    This comment needs to be on its own from my other yappin’. Along with any other matters which I will be forever disgusted with Do-Nothing Noem about are my conflicted feelings about the numbers I see every day coming out of the DOH about Covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations. No one should have died, and I’d be happy as a pig squishing around if deaths would just magically stop, but, in the meantime, the fact that the numbers go up at all tells me Noem is doing a terrible job. So any of us who care are put in the horrifying position of, on the one hand, wanting this pandemic to stop, and on the other hand wanting the numbers to show how horrifyingly wrong Noem and her ilk are. We shouldn’t be put in the position of ever, in the back or the front of our minds, deriving any satisfaction from anyone’s misery. No thank you for that, Noem. That’s on you.

  5. Steve 2020-10-13 15:19

    Back in March, Dr. Birx stated that if we do “EVERYTHING” right we’ll still lose 200k people……Um.

  6. jerry 2020-10-13 16:22

    Um…and we have waived bye bye to 200,000. Now we’re off to another 200,000 before the 1st of the year and on we march towards another March.

  7. bearcreekbat 2020-10-13 18:46

    Jerry makes a good point. We are not anywhere near the end of the COVID 19 death count yet since the spread of COVID virus is not even close to being under control.

    I also note that reports indicate Birk actually said “we could get in the range of 100,000-200,000 fatalities,” and this estimate seemed to be an estimate of the most COVID deaths that would occur before we got the virus under control. I didn’t see any reference by her to 200,000 deaths by October 2020.

    Hope that helps Steve realize why his post may be considered misleading if taken at only face value. Unless, course, that was his intent?

  8. mike from iowa 2020-10-13 19:29

    Dr Birxs exact words were…..

    So always — and that’s what this slide is labeled, is “Goals of Community Mitigation.” Really highlighting that this begins in the middle and the end with community. This community and the community of the American people that are going to have to do the things for the next 30 days to make a difference.

    I think you know from that large blue mountain that you can see behind me — and I just want to thank the five or six international and domestic modelers from Harvard, from Columbia, from Northeastern, from Imperial who helped us tremendously. It was their models that created the ability to see what these mitigations could do, how steeply they could depress the curve from that giant blue mountain down to that more stippled area.

    In their estimates, they had between 1.5 million and 2.2 million people in the United States succumbing to this virus without mitigation. Yet, through their detailed studies and showing us what social distancing would do, what people — what would happen if people stayed home, what would happen if people were careful every day to wash their hands and worry about touching their faces, that what an extraordinary thing this could be if every American followed these. And it takes us to that stippled mountain that’s much lower — a hill, actually — down to 100,000 to 200,000 deaths, which is still way too much. Next slide please.

  9. Debbo 2020-10-13 20:56

    From Ozy per CNN:

    “A trip through the Moody’s Analytics and CNN Business “Back-to-Normal Index,” which crunches dozens of indicators of economic activity, finds that the Midwest and Plains states are better than average in getting back to the pre-COVID-19 economy — with South Dakota pacing the nation at 90 percent. This comes as manufacturing jobs are creeping back up, with the strongest push coming in the Midwest. But with worrisome virus spikes in states like Wisconsin as the cold weather arrives, and Midwestern politicians continuing to relax restrictions, the consequences could be severe.”

    So how much publicity and how many jobs does Kruel Kristi think one life is worth? How many permanent disabilities? What is the SDGOP math on this matter? Have they asked the bereaved families for their opinions?

  10. jerry 2020-10-15 20:40

    In North Dakota, a trump virus hoax killed guy might win on November 3, no kidding.

    “One of North Dakota’s latest COVID-19 fatalities was buried on Wednesday afternoon but remains on the ballot for the state legislature in the November elections.

    Known in his motor racing days as “Dakota Dave,” 55-year-old David Andahl is on the ballot as a Republican candidate in the box marked “State Representative District 08.” His name is two inches to the right of the name Donald J. Trump in the adjacent box marked “President and Vice President of the United States.”

    In a campaign TV ad, Andahl described himself as a Trump supporter. He was not dissuaded when it became known that Trump had been aware back in February that COVID-19 is deadly and yet continued to compare it to the flu, dismissing it as just another Democratic hoax.”

  11. Debbo 2020-10-31 20:15

    From Mike’s excellent link.

    “South Dakota has at least 40,730 confirmed cases with 989 new ones on Tuesday. There’s been a 41 percent increase over the past 14 days. Put into context, that is roughly equal to the total cases in Oregon, which has a population of four million. Oregon’s Multnomah County, home of the anarchist jurisdiction Portland, has fewer than 10,000 cases. Its population is around 800,000 people who live in 466 square miles. South Dakota’s population is 884,000 people over 77,184 square miles. They still can’t stop spreading the ‘rona.”

    The Wonkette article referred to Kruel Kristi’s BS as “real North Korea propaganda.”
    For real. What she’s doing is not just gas lighting. It’s nuclear fissioning!

  12. Mark Anderson 2020-11-21 17:03

    Steve, why don’t you have a big Thanksgiving and mingle with everyone and please have a big Christmas too. No masks of course.. Wishing you all the best.

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