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More Callous Contempt for Rules and LIFE: Team Noem Entirely Maskless for Indoor Capitol Photo Op

On opening day of the 2021 Legislative Session, Governor Kristi Noem signaled her commitment to continued reckless governance with this group photo on the Rotunda steps:

Austin Goss, photo of Governor Kristi Noem and administration officials indoors and maskless at SD Capitol, Twitter, 2021.01.12.
Austin Goss, photo of Governor Kristi Noem and administration officials indoors and maskless at SD Capitol, Twitter, 2021.01.12.

Indoors, no social distance, no masks (except the one worn by the cameraman, in compliance with CDC guidelines and Legislative requirements)—good grief! I’m guessing—and I welcome, dear readers, your Where’s Waldo analysis—that the bespectacled, dark-blazered woman two heads back from Noem’s left shoulder may be Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon, but whoever she is, she like everyone else on the steps is ignoring the Health Secretary’s advice to wear a mask when getting together to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Even Tony Venhuizen, the smartest person in Noem’s administration, has succumbed to the Noem Cabinet Stupids… although I’d like to believe that his standing at the edge of the group, at right in the photo, next to the newel, suggests a desire for at least a little social distance from the infectious excitement of another photo with the boss.

Governor Noem will endlessly expand government into your life to stop you from making choices about your reproduction to mandate the birth of more prop children for her campaign speeches, but she won’t take the simple step in her daily activities of wearing a mask and keeping her distance to protect the lives of people working in the Capitol and their families. Never mind the sanctity of life; we are all just props for Noem’s photo ops.

Thank you, Mr. Cameraman, for following the rules and setting an example.


  1. Nick Nemec 2021-01-13 08:02

    Governor Noem’s behavior sets an example for the entire state. A bad example. There is a reason why the Covid infection and death rates in South Dakota are among the worst in the nation, and the reason is standing front and center in this photo wearing a black dress, normally the colors of mourning but in this case based on her strappy shoes probably just a chic look.

  2. mike from iowa 2021-01-13 08:53

    4406 bodies counted yesterday.

    Last updated: January 13, 2021, 14:46 GMT
    United States
    Coronavirus Cases:

    GMT should be changed to drumpf/noem mean time.

  3. Mark Anderson 2021-01-13 10:29

    Come on, they all had their shots.

  4. Jake 2021-01-13 10:34

    Oh, but we are known as the “privileged class!” Wonder how many are packing a concealed weapon to shoot the Covid bug that’s killed thousands…..

  5. grudznick 2021-01-13 12:44

    Mr. H, you know darn well that photo was taken in a part of the Capitol building where the Governor makes the rules, not the legislatures. No rules were broken, only common sense and decorum.

  6. jerry 2021-01-13 13:46

    Mr. Anderson, you are most correcto. As a state, we are doing a respectable job of delivering the vaccine. So then, why would these guys endanger the rest of us into thinking all is well. I guess why I would never ever be a republican is, I’m just not that callous and shallow. They got theirs and you wait in line.

    “States are rushing to administer the COVID-19 vaccines as fast as possible, and some states have been more successful than others.

    North Dakota has one of the best vaccination rates in the country, according to data from the CDC. The state had administered 73.76 percent of the vaccines it had received as of Jan. 12. West Virginia and Connecticut rank second and third, at 64.19 percent and 60.37 percent, respectively. South Dakota comes in at fourth, administering 58.32 percent of distributed vaccines.”

  7. buckobear 2021-01-13 15:05

    The Denver stock show has been cancelled yet the Rapid City show/rodeo/superspreader is scheduled. Insanity.

  8. Jake 2021-01-13 16:25

    Yep, South Dakota is “Open for Business” and Covid too!!
    Gee whiz people, there’s ONLY been around 1600 people killed by this controllable virus!
    Pride cometh before a fall, will prove to be true….

  9. grudznick 2021-01-13 20:00

    Mr. buckobear, does Governor Noem schedule the stock show? Or control the weather?

    grudznick’s advice is to go to breakfast early, as those stock show goers are late risers and then you avoid the dancing places and dining clubs where cowboys might be welcome at night. Stay home, and wear your mask. But golly, do not go dancing with the cowgirls at night.

    Funny thing is, if you stay home and wear your mask, you don’t have to whine about the cowgirls cavorting at the Rail. Is the thicker-legged gal in the picture a cowgirl, and no I do not mean Ms. Noem.

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