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SF Councilman Neitzert Pretends Science Doesn’t Exist to Support Mask Requirements

Sioux Falls City Councilman Greg Neitzert justified his vote against a mask mandate in Sioux Falls last night by saying there’s no evidence mask mandates effectively check the spread of coronavirus:

Councilor Greg Neitzert saw things differently.

“I see a mandate that is based on hope it will work without evidence that it works, and fear. I don’t want to live in a city where you call the police on someone for not wearing a mask,” said Neitzert [Kristin Hergert, “It’s SRO as Sioux Falls’ Proposed Mask Mandate Fails,” KELO Radio, 2020.11.11].

Good grief: didn’t the Surgeon General of the United States just say that mask mandates work? Didn’t the CDC just publish a report saying that Delaware’s mask mandate worked in conjunction with other simple public health interventions to reduce sickness, hospitalization, and death from coronavirus? Simon Fraser University posted a study in October showing mask mandates reduce coronavirus cases. In Kansas, where a majority of counties chose to ignore a statewide mask mandate, the counties that adopted the mandate saw new daily cases stay steady from July through October, while the anti-mask counties saw cases spike.

Sioux Falls Councilman Neitzert is lying as surely as Aberdeen Mayor Travis Schaunaman, who says “there’s compelling arguments on both sides” of the discussion of masks. False: there are no compelling scientific arguments against wearing masks to prevent coronavirus.

There is more science available supporting mask requirements as pandemic response than there is for almost any other issue that city councils debate. Yet because people like Greg Neitzert and Travis Schaunaman don’t want to change their habits to deal with the pandemic, they’re going to ignore science and let coronavirus continue to spread unchecked.


  1. Chris S. 2020-11-11

    If/when Sioux Falls loses those high-profile college basketball games because the teams decide they can’t risk traveling to a plague nest, I sure hope mayor TenHaken and his anti-masker buddies in Sioux Falls step up and take credit/blame for the situation.

  2. Chris S. 2020-11-11

    I never knew so many conservatives were such drama queens. The way they carry on, you’d think a mask ordinance for public health was a cross between the Gestapo and the East German Stasi.

    Once more for the people who didn’t hear it the first time:

    The point of a mask mandate isn’t that you’re going to arrest or fine anyone who isn’t complying. The point is to say, “Everyone is supposed to wear a mask.” Its main function is peer pressure. Without a mandate, careful people wearing masks are dismissesd as “nervous nellies.” A mandate tells people that masking is normal and expected, and the people not wearing masks are the scofflaws. It doesn’t mean SWAT teams are going to be deployed whenever someone is spotted without a mask. For crying out loud, calm down, Mary.

    We don’t arrest or even fine everyone who ignores seatbelt laws or “no texting and driving” laws, but guess what: We still have those laws anyway. They tell people what’s expected of a citizen, and people not following the rules are the outliers, rather than the other way around.

  3. Richard Schriever 2020-11-11

    So, the logic comes down to, it’s better for people to get sick and die rather to being in “disagreement” with one another. That’s a new spin on “SD Nice”. If you get in a disagreeable discussion (argument) with someone remember this – it’s better that they die to the argument going any further.

  4. Doug Sanders 2020-11-11

    Thanks to Councilman Neizert for holding fast to truth instead of wanting to control. If masks were effective (and they aren’t, just read the labels: …not for medical use etc.) then we would have been using them for the last hundred years and airborne diseases would have been eradicated. I suggest those who think wearing a bandanna or paper mask is going to protect from a virus refer to WHO and CDC pronouncements to the contrary. It is disappointing that our local medical organizations promote this facade of masks protecting people when they only reduce the wearer’s oxygenation levels, and if worn too long can impair the immune system. Please refer to America’s Frontline Doctors and the 30,000 other doctors trying to bring truth and common sense to this insanity.

  5. Mark Anderson 2020-11-11

    Come on South Dakotan’s your governor can’t cover that beautiful face with a mask.

  6. Jenny 2020-11-11

    It’s pretty plain that generally speaking, Republicans have anxiety issues. Trump knew how to tap into that. The Party that embraces ‘rugged individualism’ is the one that is the most scared to wear masks. They can’t deal with the Coronavirus and are in denial that it is real. Good god, I wish I could move out of the country. This insanity, hatred and division has got to stop.

  7. Darrell Solberg 2020-11-11

    So Neitzert and Neom are more knowledgeable about science than the CDC director that just visited S.D. and explain the effectiveness of masks? These two are infringing on our freedoms by denying methods that help slow the virus!! And our Mayor in Sioux Falls needs to understand that we deserve better than what has delivered! I have greatly curb eating in any eating establishment because of the lack of masks worn by diners. in fact not long ago, we celebrated by step-sons birthday by dining at one of his favorite establishments. As we were waiting for him to arrive I noticed none of the employees were wearing masks, so I asked the hostess why that was and her reply was “oh we don’t do that here and if you are uncomfortable there are plenty of other places in Sioux Falls to dine at”. WEARING A MASK, SOCIAL DISTANCING, AND AVOIDING LARGE GATHERINGS WORK!! So Mayor, Neitzert, and Neom what part of that don’t you understand?

  8. mike from iowa 2020-11-11

    Face it, folks. We have to get stoopid effing wingnuts to disabuse themselves that regulations are too costly and/or freedumb taking.
    First we have to learn them the difference between wingnut alternate facts and reality, which may prove to be impossible with brain damaged dummies we see everyday on the news.

    On a brighter note, if there really was a god, there wouldn’t be a single phony right wing nutjob kristian anywhere in America.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-11-11

    Doug, you lying sack of crap. WHO and CDC are 100% in support of wearing masks to reduce the spread of disease. So is every doctor who wears a mask during surgery. Don’t be stupid.

  10. DaveFN 2020-11-11

    People who are informed only by Facebook are effectively uninformed and allow themselves to be held hostage to the lowest of intellectual standards. It’s a turn the US if not globe has taken with the advent of social media that dumbs us down, thanks to the way these technologies have overtaken higher intellectual standards and our own better angels. The wry humor of Rapid City’s Mayor Steve Allender notes:

    “In the last eight months, the U.S. scientific community has grown to 330 million members. All educated at Facebook University.” —Mayor Steve Allender 25 Oct 2020

    I don’t know what idiocy is holding Neitzert or Schaunaman hostage.

    On the other hand it’s a good guess that Noem is ultimately held hostage to her superficial constitutional literalism, combined with a fundaevangelism which latter has indicated as much that God is deaf to one’s prayers if one is wearing a Satanic face mask, that covering one’s face dishonors God (veiled anti-Muslim sentiment likely at work in that idea); that one can take up any deadly thing and drink same and it will not hurt them (Mark 16:18 “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them”); and that since man is made in God’s image, hiding the face therefore hides God.

    Mayor TenHaken, however, appears to be held hostage to none of the above reasons, but rather to opinions on his Facebook feed. As charismatic as he and his darling daughter Nora are in their homemade videos, he repeatedly contradicts himself both in thought and action when it comes to masks, contradictions which themselves reflect the contradictory opinions of his Facebook feed, opinions by which he appears either consciously or unconsciously to weight the security of his future political aspirations. It’s a strategy that could backfire, of course: who wants a governor who simply tries to be popular by playing to the most superficial elements in society? (On the other hand, how few there be who expect anything but that?)

    In any case that which holds our leaders hostage drags us along with it.

  11. Jenny 2020-11-11

    That is a bunch of crap, Doug. I was just on the CDC the other day and they specifically recommend mask wearing.

  12. jerry 2020-11-11

    Doug Sanders, please continue to listen to yourself. Odds are for ol’ Doug Sanders for catching the trump virus. When that happens, as a typical trumpian dummy, who will he blame? Also, can we get his address so we can make plans to go to his estate auction? Might be something there to pick up on the fire sale.

  13. jerry 2020-11-11

    27 more deaths in South Dakota today. The death knell continues to strike higher each day with no end in sight. That bell just got a second wind thanks to the dummy Neitzert. Science may not be his strong suit, but reading should be. All he has to do is look at the historical reports from 100 years ago on the Spanish Flu. Same thing only years sooner than this and the South Dakota national guard enforced the rules.

  14. jerry 2020-11-11

    Texas is a red state and look see what they did regarding the trump virus, at a county level…with a republican governor.

    “El Paso, Texas (KTSM) — During a news conference on Wednesday, El Paso County Judge Ricardo A. Samaniego extended a County stay home order.

    The updated order, Order No. 14, will stay in effect until Dec. 1, unless an appeals court rules otherwise. Samaniego said he wanted to ensure that the order is in place through Thanksgiving.

    The court is expected to rule on the legality of the order later this week. As of now, the order will remain in place, Samaniego said.

    “Everyday that the County’s order stays in effect saves lives,” he said.”

    Damn straight, it saves lives, as does wearing masks and washing your hands, all the while working on not being stupid with your actions.

  15. chris 2020-11-11

    didn’t Neitzert say “…even if the evidence was there, I’d still vote against it out of principle.” ? Great guy to have on your jury, if you can afford him.

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-11-12

    Hey, Doug:

    Wearing a mask protects the wearer, and not just other people, from the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention emphasized in an updated scientific brief issued Tuesday. And the protective benefits of masks are stronger the more people wear masks consistently and correctly, the agency says.

    When the CDC first recommended that Americans wear cloth face coverings back in April, it cited evidence that the coronavirus could be transmitted by asymptomatic people who might not be aware of their infectiousness – a group estimated to account for more than 50% of transmissions. The agency said masks were intended to block virus-laden particles that might be emitted by an infected person.

    In a report updated Tuesday, the CDC says that is still the primary intention of wearing masks. But it also cites growing evidence that even cloth masks can also reduce the amount of infectious droplets inhaled by the wearer.

    “This messaging is key to increase adherence and interest in mask wearing. I am thrilled!” Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease physician with the University of California, San Francisco, said in a tweet Tuesday.

    Ghandi argued in a recently published paper that wearing masks can reduce the severity of illness with COVID-19, even if the wearer does become infected [Maria Godoy, “Wear Masks to Protect Yourself from the Coronavirus, Not Only Others,” NPR, 2020.11.11].

    The WHO is also saying the opposite of your lies about them. They say masks alone won’t do it, but masks are an integral part of the total strategy.

    Don’t lie to us, Doug. Public health is at stake. Lives are at stake. Real liberty, the ability to work and get health care and not lose your property and life to a preventable pandemic, are at stake.

  17. jerry 2020-11-12

    Two Cents in Rapid City Journal 11.12.20

    “How much more hypocritical can the GOP be saying they shouldn’t mandate people being told what to do regarding just wearing a simple mask, but they sure can tell women what to do with their own bodies.”

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