South Dakota is pro-dollar, not pro-life.
Such is the grim moral and political conclusion we can derive from this pandemic-assessment statement from Dan Bucheli, the Beltway political hack whom Governor Kristi Noem hired to make sure her Health Department toes the party line on spinning our failure to control the pandemic as proof of good government:
Noem’s emphasis on the economy was reflected in a statement Monday to KELOLAND News from Daniel Bucheli, communications director for the state Department of Health.
“South Dakota’s unique approach in handling of COVID-19 and its positive results are evident. We provided the latest information and trusted the people of South Dakota to make the best decisions for themselves and their families,” he said.
“Our people did not see business shutdowns, our government did not impose blanket restrictions on anyone’s freedom, and because of such, we are now enjoying the lowest unemployment rate in the country, while pushing our COVID-19 numbers down significantly,” he continued. “There is a reason people are flocking to our state and why we are being talked about everywhere—unlike other states which chose a different route and are now paying the economic price for it” [Bob Mercer, “South Dakota Has Paid a Human Price for the State’s Economic Success During Covid-19,” KELO-TV, 2021.06.15].
Bucheli does not address the blanket restrictions on freedom that come from having to fear going to the grocery store once a week for provisions because neighbors are following the Governor’s bad example and treating masks like political symbols of oppression instead of cheap and effective public health interventions. Bucheli does not address the lingering drag on freedom caused by far too many South Dakotans pigheadedly refusing to get a really effective vaccine that he and his Governor do little to promote. And most tellingly, Bucheli does not mention the 2,000-plus South Dakotans who have died and thousands more who have suffered expensive hospitalizations in part due to the state’s choice to value going out for beer and wings over protecting human life.
South Dakota has had positive results all right from its “unique” approach to coronavirus. Our state government didn’t approach coronavirus seriously; thus more of us tested positive for coronavirus than would have with more sensible leadership and policy, and more of our friends and neighbors died. But we kept our sales tax flowing (through wind power and federal stimulus, not brilliant state governance) and boosted house prices. Yay.
Yes, South Dakota values business. But that makes South Dakota a more dangerous place to live.