With a bunch of Indians coming to the Capitol yesterday for the State of the Tribes Address, Governor Kristi Noem socially distanced herself all the way to Sioux Falls, where she demonstrated her commitment to safety at Maguire Iron:
Note to you concerned parents: Maguire Iron has an “awesome” apprenticeship program, but it apparently doesn’t require masks.
Governor Noem will follow rules requiring a hard hat and safety glasses in a factory where you can bet they aren’t going to let the Governor get anywhere near any machinery that could scar her, but she’ll be darned if she’ll wear a mask to prevent the clear and present risk of spreading or catching coronavirus among people outside her social pod.
But hey, the Snow Queen knows hardhats look much better in campaign photos than masks.
Noem also declined to wear a mask or protect vulnerable populations from the spread of coronavirus during her visit to the Alliance Center in Sioux Falls:
But she’ll sure cover her ears when posing with a gun:
If she’d stuck around in Pierre, she’d have just heard those darned Indians talking about how bad coronavirus has been:
For the third day in a row, a majority of the state’s 105 legislators — many without wearing masks that are encouraged though not mandated, some behind Plexiglas shields — crammed into the House chambers. On Tuesday, Gov. Kristi Noem addressed lawmakers, and on Wednesday came remarks by recently installed state Supreme Court Chief Justice Steve Jensen.
But unlike those two addresses, which largely painted victorious pictures of the state fending off the coronavirus pandemic,Faith — whose mask dangled from his ear for part of the speech — spoke in somber tones about a deadly virus that has hit communities of color, including reservations, the hardest.
“We also watched our friends, relatives pass away,” Faith said. “And there wasn’t a darned thing we could do about it. We watched from a distance.”
While Native Americans represent at least 9% of the population in South Dakota, they account for 14% of all deaths, according to Johns Hopkins’ data. South Dakota has the fifth-highest death rate per capita in the U.S., according to a state-by-state comparison [Christopher Vondracek, “In State of the Tribes Speech, a Sharp Break from Covid-19 Optimism in South Dakota,” Worthington Globe, 2021.01.14 ].
But who wants hang around in Pierre to hear about grim threats to our livelihood exacerbated by callously inattentive government when there’s a chance to play Construction-Kristi dress-up and Annie-Oakley shoot-em-up in Sioux Falls?