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Noem Spins Holiday Pandemic Precautions as War on Her Jesus

Governor Kristi Noem is trying to spin the CDC’s really good advice to stay home for Thanksgiving as part of a nefarious plot by the media to destroy Christianity:

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and across the country families are planning how to celebrate with their loved-ones in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some states across the country are imposing restrictions on Thanksgiving celebrations. Some in the media are even looking ahead and planning to cancel Christmas. In South Dakota, we won’t stop or discourage you from thanking God and spending time together this Thanksgiving [Gov. Kristi Noem, weekly propaganda column, 2020.11.20].

Stop, stop, stop—no one in the media or the CDC or anywhere else is saying that fighting the pandemic requires that we “cancel Christmas” or stop “thanking God.” You can thank God Thursday and every day, if that’s your thing, without putting anyone, yourself or people you love or people you don’t love, at increased risk of coronavirus. Household transmission is a big deal in this pandemic; not crowding into a household for five hours with people you haven’t seen for a year is an obvious and easy precaution you can take to keep your home folks and your community from seeing more coronavirus infections and deaths. Heck, without Uncle Jimmy bawling in your ear about Trump over green-bean casserole, you could spend the whole afternoon quietly thanking God or Allah or the Force or whatever mystical powers you prefer.

And I haven’t heard any talking heads or epidemiologists say that stopping coronavirus means canceling Christmas. Dr. Anthony Fauci has already cleared Santa Claus to fly, saying he’s got a remarkable (and, alas, not bottle-able) “innate immunity.” Christmas lights and inflatables are already festooning yards around Aberdeen. Americans are still planning to send all sorts of Christmas love and loot to each other, and we can do so in ways that don’t spread coronavirus.

Merry Christmask, available on Redbubble, $12.50.
Merry Christmask, available on Redbubble, $12.50.

This holiday season, we should cancel our traditional in-person parties. The very love that we create these holidays to celebrate commands that we do so, to protect each other from sickness and death. But canceling a Thanksgiving gathering does not cancel your ability to thank your gods (and contrary to Governor Noem’s official statement, her people thank many gods other than her God). Canceling the office Christmas party or even the in-person Christmas Eve church service doesn’t cancel Christmas. Staying home this year and sending our love from afar simply keeps more of us alive to send more love and enjoy more holidays.

Stay home on Thanksgiving. Call the people you love. Stay home Friday, too—skip the shopping, even online, and stay home, rest, and enjoy your own turkey sandwich. Plan on Christmas at home, too, but do all you can to fill the hearts of those around you—via safe, socially distant methods—with Christmas joy and gratitude.

See, Kristi? It’s not either/or. You can celebrate the holidays and fight the pandemic.

And telling people to stay home for Thanksgiving and Christmas isn’t an attack on your Christianity. Quite the contrary: preaching pandemic safety should be a natural expression of your professed Christian love for life.

Merry Christmask, available on Redbubble, $12.50.
Merry Christmask, available on Redbubble, $12.50.


  1. Richard Schriever 2020-11-23

    She seems to still be believing the virus was actually gone like a miracle on Nov. 4 and any other reality is fake. At the same time, Xmas and Jesus surviving the media is pretty much undoable as a miracle – she seems to be exhibiting little faith in the strength of her God in the face of corporate propaganda.

  2. Mark Anderson 2020-11-23

    Actually Kristi, its just a war on the virus, not your God trump. Lighten up a little.

  3. o 2020-11-23

    Unfortunate to see Governor Noem stepping in the same mess that Sen. Ted Kruse plowed into.

    With so many SD families dealing with the illness or even death of loved ones and food banks over taxed, Governor Noem’s “holy-day” message comes off as elite and out of touch with the tough reality she and others of the Trump cult choose to ignore — as their privilege allows them to do.

  4. Whitless 2020-11-23

    Devout Christians that I have the privilege to know pray daily, giving thanks to God for the blessings in their lives. They don’t require a secular holiday to gather with friends and family to give thanks. Sacrifice and grace are vital parts of Christian theology. This year, that includes giving up gathering with people whom you don’t see regularly because you care about them. But Kristi obviously isn’t willing to sacrifice by acknowledging that she was wrong, that infections are reduced by mask wearing and limiting contact with others. Instead, she once again demonstrates her willingness to sacrifice the health and lives of South Dakotans on the altar of her political desires. Her corrosive and cynical spirit is evidenced as she trots out the tired, divisive, but still disappointingly effective red herring that the elites are trying to undermine Christianity. The analysis and advice given by Corey is sound and should be followed everyone.

  5. Jake 2020-11-23

    i wonder if our cow-girl Kristi governess has ever considered using some decent portion of the Federal socialistic aid money for Covid from the Feds to be given to South Dakota Food Banks? I’d think this to be one move that would show if she was truly concerned about the lower 1/2 of the economic social ladder of her populace she is responsible to as governor(ess). To simply throw the bulk or a greater amount out to corporate campaign(potential) donors shows her extreme disdain for those lesser people on the income ladder. C’mon Kristi–$$$$ to Food!!!!

  6. Spike 2020-11-23

    Kristi’s God Trump

    Good one Mark

  7. GWEN THOMSON 2020-11-23

    Couldn’t agree with you more.

  8. o 2020-11-23

    Let’s not forget what the holidays are really all about: consumerism.

  9. Ben Cerwinske 2020-11-23

    What weak faith, if any, she has.

  10. Randee huber 2020-11-23

    This woman is the most egregious hypocrite since her fuhrer. I always wonder how people who are this corrupt and this malignantly stupid get through life without accidentally killing themselves through idiocy.

  11. Chris S. 2020-11-23

    For the record, Thanksgiving is not a Christian holiday. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with being thankful — it’s a good thing actually! But regardless of what you’re thankful for, or which deity (if any) you choose to thank, it’s not part of Christian theology. None of the gospels relates a story of Jesus and the disciples sitting down with the Pilgrims and Native Americans and Samaritans in colonial Massachusetts or Galilee to share loaves and fishes and turkey and pie.

    Thanksgiving is an American civic holiday, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Cynical conservatives shouldn’t be allowed to debase it by dragging it into the “war on Christmas” nonsense.

  12. Jeff Barth 2020-11-23

    I’m praying for Kristi

  13. Moses6 2020-11-23

    Kristi I worship God not Trump.

  14. Jenny 2020-11-23

    Anything to stay in the national news, Kristi. We know your game.

  15. Jenny 2020-11-23

    You could send your covid millions to MN if you don’t know how to spend it, Kristi and GOP Legislature. MN would gladly put it to good use. To even have the audacity to say you are struggling to spend your covid money when there are so many people struggling everywhere, unbelievable.
    Call your governor and local legislators up, South Dakota. Tell them where to spend it or they will hide it from you.

  16. Jeff Barth 2020-11-23

    Fire Chiefs in Minnehaha are getting a third of what they asked to be reimbursed for. They did not lie so they are being punished.

  17. Fast Eddy 2020-11-23

    I can agree that Thanksgiving is not a Christian holiday and I’m pretty sure that Christmas, the way we now celebrate it, also is not. I know that some folks include some Christian values in their celebrations but the overall point is of increasing consumerism. Sell, sell, sell to get the profits in by year end. A day out trying to accomplish a few tasks is an exercise in patience with glum-faced employees, impatient shoppers, murderous drivers and cranky children. I normally hibernate from mid-November to mid-January and try to remember and practice what it’s all about. I do a few donations, contact friends and family, make a few treats, and no… I don’t watch sappy Hallmark movies. I’m more of A Charlie Brown Christmas kind of kid.

    I know we’re all incensed over rampant Covid in this state… could we look any more foolish than we did on CBS today (idiot SF mayor)?… but whatever your plans, or non-plans, take a break from this disaster if you can and be thankful. And be particularly thankful for the health care workers who are really shouldering the burden here.

  18. jerry 2020-11-23

    Evangelicals gave us GNOem as the Messiah, God gave us the plague.

  19. SD is 20 per cent nonwhite 2020-11-23

    If Kristi Trump loves Thanksgiving so much, she can fill half of her Cabinet posts with Native Americans, today! Impeach her!

    Democrats in DC impeached Trump in 2019. Democrats in South Dakota should impeach Nome in 2021! Be courageous and do it.

    Impeachment is never about Can we win? Impeachment is about indicting a President or Governor for doing bad things! She can be impeached.

  20. mike livingston 2020-11-23

    The shrew sure knows how to put her vile scent on on turkeys and Christmas trees. Dear lord what did we do to deserve this _itch, the comparison is an insult to dogs everywhere.

    I sure am tired of being pissed on, and pissed off. Please excuse my french and believe me I am being restrained from what I really feel.

    I am thankful for the health of my family, the hope a successful vaccine, and the demise of donito trumpolini’s so called presidency.

  21. Bill 2020-11-23

    In March of this year Trump said we were at war with Covid 19. I guess your governor never signed on to fight in the war. A war which, by the way, we are sadly losing.

  22. DaveFN 2020-11-23

    Deconvoluting Noem is a full time job, of course, owing to her simplistic blather of half-truths.

    (1) Noem states “The truth is, there is no science to support the claim that lockdowns stop the spread of the virus.”

    Hogwash. Science does support the claim but Noem is selective in her review of the literature, not surprisingly:

    “Our results show that major non-pharmaceutical interventions and lockdowns in particular—have had a large effect on reducing transmission.” (published 8 June 2020)

    Of course, we know that lockdowns also have negative effects, and are not the first line of defense–but in Noem-land they may very well become the last and only if her intransigence continues.

    (2) “Not even mask mandates have stopped cases from rising in communities,” is a popular observation lacking in validity since there is not a control group that would allow us to see how much more the cases would have rising had there been NO mask mandate. Not to mention the ‘science’ Noem can’t evidently follow:

    “Multi-layer cloth masks block release of exhaled respiratory particles into the environment, along with the microorganisms these particles carry. Cloth masks not only effectively block most large droplets (i.e., 20-30 microns and larger) but they can also block the exhalation of fine droplets and particles (also often referred to as aerosols) smaller than 10 microns ; which increase in number with the volume of speech and specific types of phonation. Multi-layer cloth masks can both block up to 50-70% of these fine droplets and particles and limit the forward spread of those that are not captured. Upwards of 80% blockage has been achieved in human experiments that have measured blocking of all respiratory droplets, with cloth masks in some studies performing on par with surgical masks as barriers for source control.” (CDC, updated 20 November 2020)

    (3) “As we learn more about COVID symptoms, it can be hard to keep track of them all, so visit the CDC website to refresh your memory.”

    Cherrypicking which CDC guidelines to follow while ignoring others; see also number 2 above.

    (4) “If you or someone in your family is sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, it may be best to stay home and join your loved-ones over FaceTime, Skype, or another app.”

    Someone please tell Noem that quarantine is nothing other than a form of isolation and therefore lockdown of sorts, although not in her literalistic, minimally languaged world.

    (5) Noem opines: “Those who don’t wear masks are making a personal decision and deserve respect.” Deserve respect for spreading the virus and infecting the rest of us, that is.

    Noem thereby betrays her subjective self-pity as a victim, a status she projects onto others as being deserving of respect, Typhoid Marys that they are who are culpable for community spread and the situation we are now in which will only become worse.

    This recent Danish study that has caught on with anti-maskers who are unable to read any further than the headline: “Masks Not Very Effective at Protecting Wearers, Says New Danish Study.”

    Yet note well the by-line: “But masks are still likely to prevent people from transmitting the virus,” as per research published 18 November 2020 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

    If for no other reason, the above alone is reason enough for a national mask mandate.

    I won’t begin to address her ‘cancel Christmas’ notion likely borrowed from late-night reading of Parler and MeWe.

  23. Jake 2020-11-23

    She so amplifies the fact that Republicans love to stir up hatred for someone in their base-especially Democrats and the Media. In this case her accusations are pointless puffery of the highest sort. Trying to cover up for her mistakes by blaming someone else for something they haven’t even done is the height of stupidity.
    Kristi stop trying to be a beacon of GOP hope-
    your wattage needs too much improvement!

  24. DaveFN 2020-11-23

    And then there’s Mike Rounds, playing the Good Shepherd over his flock:

    “If you are worried about getting sick, stay home. If you are worried that you are sick and might infect someone else, stay home. If you have a ‘cold,’ you might actually have COVID-19. Stay home. If you’re worried about your kids getting your parents or grandparents sick, stay home,” Rounds, a Fort Pierre resident, said in a Friday statement.”

    The virus could care less whether one is ‘worried’ or not, so why this repeated qualifier for behavior during a pandemic? Putting things on the imaginary, subjective level is nothing but condescending paternalism to cover his own…

  25. chris 2020-11-23

    I don’t even want to know what she thinks in private when the cameras aren’t on.

  26. Scott 2020-11-23

    Republicans misleading (and lying) by trying to scare people into thinking that their rights are being taken away. The typical Republican strategy.

    How many times have we heard that the dems are going to take away your guns? We all still have our guns, but the republics still scare and mislead people into thinking the dems are going to take their guns.

  27. Jeff Barth 2020-11-23

    Their guns are their gods

  28. Jane Deaix 2020-11-24

    We in the Deep South—yes, you read that right—are shaking our heads at what’s going on in SD. Our numbers are still far from ideal and threatening to trend upward again, and there has been lots of pushback from Republicants trying to overturn mandates…but with early lockdowns, mask requirements and behavioral adaptations made commonplace we’ve got some sense of control over this. We look at SD on the map and are astounded. Reading your post, it looks like this is what happens when a Republican governor under a Republican president embedded in a twisted-Christianity consumer-driven self-reliant mythic narrative collides with a deadly pandemic. Hang tight. Having gone through a brutal first wave our thoughts are with you, and at the very least may things turn around January 20.

  29. V 2020-11-24

    Covid Kristi exemplifies why we don’t want government mixing/messing with our religion. She prays to a different God and knows a totally different Savior than me and my fellow Lutherans. Stay away from our faith, the only sacred thing that kept us hanging on the last 4+ years and the only thing that will help us tolerate CK for 2 more years.

    Obviously Covid Kristi feels comfortable passing the mashed potatoes and gravy to her friends and family while passing a little Covid 19 as well. Or better yet, a Covid 19 Café Buffet with all the trimmings like we’ll have in many towns across the state on Thursday, 2 at local establishments in Walworth County.


  30. mike from iowa 2020-11-24

    jeebus doesn’t need noem’s help. drumpf/noem body count…

    United States
    Coronavirus Cases:

    Moar milestones reached, again. iowa has 143 longterm care facilities with covid outbreaks and nearly 2200 bodies to count.

  31. Donald Pay 2020-11-24

    The reason we have Thanksgiving is because a communicable disease brought over from Europe by previous white traders created a three year plague that wiped out many Wampanoag communities, particularly those around present day Plymouth. Otherwise it is likely the settlers would not have survived, let alone had a thanksgiving feast. Thanksgiving was a general term used by the Separatists for a celebration of good harvest or some other good tiding. It could happen at any time. Noem isn’t learning the real lesson here. Both the Wampanoag and the Separatists had lost many lives. They mourned those lives, and waited for a better time to give thanks. If Noem thinks Thanksgiving has to be celebrated as her constituents are dying, she really doesn’t understand what thanksgiving is. And, by the way, the Separatists didn’t celebrate Christmas either. They viewed it as un-Christian.

  32. grudznick 2020-11-24

    Not all Republicans are pernicious, Mr. H. That’s why grudznick often points it out when some people try and paint everybody with the same color. I usually have to stay home for the holidays, and as long as people bring me the feast dinners I am OK, so I don’t disagree with Governor Kemp, a Republican. He’d be welcome at our breakfastings any time.

  33. mike from iowa 2020-11-24

    United States
    Coronavirus Cases:

    Easdily bypass 13 million US casers and 267k deceased tomorrow in drumpf/noem shared responsibility body counbts.

  34. grudznick 2020-11-24

    We will all have it soon, Mr. mike, even all those there in Iowa from whence you hail. The covid bugs, they are coming for all of us. The immunity of the herd has not been reached.

  35. Kristi Quaintance 2020-11-25

    Will anyone primary Prairie Palin for the 2022 election? Will she even run herself or has she moved on to bigger fish? If her presidential run falls flat (and it will), will a Dem challenge her in the general and run and, if so, who would that be? I would like to see Billie run against her again. She didn’t win by a whole hell of a lot so maybe her performance on Covid, her AG’s hit and run, her sitting on the Covid relief money, etc will cause her a loss.

  36. jerry 2020-11-25

    GNOem/trump war on the baby Jesus. No jobs, a pandemic, no food, no shelter, NO NOTHING GNOem.

    “Millions of Americans must rely on charity to put Thanksgiving dinner on the table this year, as hunger surges amid a devastating spiraling of the Covid-19 pandemic which the Trump administration has failed to get under control.

    In what is traditionally a season of celebration, less than half of US households with children feel “very confident” about having enough money to afford the food needed over the next month, according to the US Census Bureau’s latest pandemic survey. A staggering 5.6m households struggled to put enough food on the table in the past week.

    Families of color are suffering disproportionately with 27% of black and 23% of Latino respondents with children reported not having enough to eat sometimes or often over the past week – compared with 12% of white people.”

  37. mike from iowa 2020-12-05

    noem nothing’s latest flame, Lewandowski was appointed by bogus potus drumpf to civilian Pentagon Business Board so he won’t be available to squire the guv to fancy fundraisers.

    Remember awhile back drumpf claimed he did not know Lewie and was only with his campaign a short time? 5 months as campaign chair is not a short time.

  38. Marilyn 2020-12-09

    Kristi Noem’s hypocrisy is nothing short of remarkable, both in her preaching about personal responsibility and her version of Christianity. What about the personal responsibility a state governor should show for the safety of ALL people in the state? She has a duty to do that whether it’s convenient for her scorched-earth economic policies or not. Noem seems to worship the interests of money over everything else.

    As for personal responsibility by individuals, shouldn’t that mean caring enough about others that you don’t expose them to the Covid-19 virus even though you feel fine? You don’t get to take a gun and shoot people in the name of “personal freedom,” and you shouldn’t be allowed to carelessly spread a virus which you may very well have. I would remind everyone who chooses to deny the virus because “they feel fine” that the bats in the caves, who carry thousands of these viruses, feel just fine too-get it?

    As for Christianity, I’m not sure what Noem and company believe about Jesus, but I do not believe Jesus would say, “Sure, go ahead and spread the virus. Hurt or kill your fellow man. It’s all good.” No, Governor Kristi Nobody’s-Home Noem, the Jesus I’ve heard about said we should care about others, not just our own selfishness to the exclusion others. An unwillingness to make a small sacrifice so that others might not suffer and die, shows one’s lack of spirituality. It’s a cheap, cruel attitude.

    Kudos to the Dakota Free Press for being out there! I have just discovered this site and will be following it.

  39. jerry 2020-12-16

    The Baby Jesus didn’t like herd immunity or the smell of cow poo or go to Sturgis for the killer infection rally. GNOem loves her the smell of death and the feel of the kill, just like the rest of the republican ghouls.

    ““There is no other way, we need to establish herd, and it only comes about allowing the non-high risk groups expose themselves to the virus. PERIOD,” then-science adviser Paul Alexander wrote on July 4 to his boss, Health and Human Services assistant secretary for public affairs Michael Caputo, and six other senior officials.

    “Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc. have zero to little risk….so we use them to develop herd…we want them infected…” Alexander added.”

    Cold blooded killers all. trumpian republicans like NOem, hide behind fake smiles while they stick a knife in your back.

  40. jerry 2020-12-16

    The Baby Jesus is doing overtime. Very busy with all of the happenings here in the land of trump fatigue and failure.

    “The United States set a double record on Wednesday registering more than 3,700 deaths and over 250,000 new Covid-19 cases in just 24 hours, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

    With the new reported fatalities, the death toll in the US has now reached more than 307,291.” Damn man, we are reaching Holocaust numbers, thanks to the American Nazi Party. I dunno but this trump/GNOem hoax thingy is gettin kind of real.

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