Press "Enter" to skip to content

Safety Schmafety: Noem Tells Prison Guards to Take Off Masks, Guards Cheer

Governor Kristi Noem has one hammer—deregulation—in her tool box, and by gum, she’s going to use it to whack every problem. After she met with state penitentiary employees last week Friday, she lifted the prison’s mask mandate:

Noem’s move was spurred by a meeting she had with employees at the state penitentiary in Sioux Falls. They cheered when she told them they could remove their masks during a meeting Friday. The governor was at the prison to respond to an ongoing human resources investigation into complaints of low employee morale, shorthanded prison staff and insufficient tactical gear for corrections officers [“South Dakota Governor Lifts Mask Requirements in Prisons,” AP via Brookings Register, 2021.07.28].

Funny: I thought the anonymous corrections employees who sparked the Governor’s prison management purge were complaining about not enough consideration being taken for their safety. Their cheering the removal of protective gear indicates the opposite.

But hey, who needs higher pay or systemic reforms to address employee complaints when we can just plug this problem into our standing campaign rhetoric? And who needs preventative measures when our lazy pandemic response has already led to most prisoners getting sick?

South Dakota’s prisons last year suffered through one of the nation’s worst rates for infections. Two out of every three inmates were infected with COVID-19, according to data collected by The Associated Press and The Marshall Project [AP, 2021.07.28].

The Governor is now moving in the opposite direction of the best public health guidance from experts. The Governor is also not requiring prison staff to get vaccinated.


  1. sx123 2021-07-28

    Not sure she knows that a changing situation requires a changing response. Or if she does know this and likes to bash experts, that’s worse. Expert bashers must be clueless to how the actual world works (aka nature).

    The structural engineer says a steel beam is required for that wide of span. HAHA, the expert knows nothing! This 2×4 will do…

  2. Loren 2021-07-28

    Can she be sued for negligence when the contagion, ala Smithfield, runs rampant in the close confines of the facility? But, what the heck, let’s have a Rally and prove there is no “Delta variant.”

  3. Porter Lansing 2021-07-28

    John the Con’s video was from the very first month of the Covid outbreak, when essential medical personnel were seriously short on PPE’s. His downplaying of the need for masks, at that juncture, saved thousands of lives.
    Got any new Fauci, JohnCon?

  4. Mark Anderson 2021-07-28

    John Dale listening to Fauci, stranger things have happened. Perhaps he has the form of psychosis that his idol stated in his deposition on Sandy Hook. It should be a good week reading the twists and turns of the blue line supporters trying to make the testimony of the police yesterday into another Q conspiracy.

  5. Arlo Blundt 2021-07-28

    John Dale..Your egotistical, psychotic, irresponsible and dangerous constant comments have worn my patience thin…you are a nut case and I’m old enough to have been exposed to Billy James Hargis, Howard L.K Smith, Bob Jones, the American Nazi Party, Bull Connor, George Wallace, Lester Maddox and a hundred others….all who have been swept aside to the ash bin of history. You are speaking nonsense. Wise Up.

  6. mike from iowa 2021-07-28

    Overall, we rate Rumble Right Biased and Questionable based on the promotion of right-wing propaganda and conspiracy theories as well as false information, use of poor sources, and a lack of transparency.
    Detailed Report
    Reasoning: Far Right, Propaganda, Conspiracy, Poor Sourcing, False Information, Lack of Transparency
    Country: Canada
    World Press Freedom Rank: Canada 16

  7. mike from iowa 2021-07-28

    Sic ’em, Johnny, get ’em!

    magat connected outfit got a 26 million dollar contract to produce covid tests which they were warned would, and did, fail. Now they want to use them on healthier college kids

    Dr. Michelle Fiscus, who was fired this month as the state’s top immunization official in a dispute over vaccinating teens, said she was shocked by the $26.5 million deal — and even further shocked by health commissioner Lisa Piercey’s reaction when the tests turned up false negative results as health officials had warned, reported WTVF-TV.

  8. John Dale 2021-07-28

    Questioning the efficacy of the tests is a good idea.

  9. Lottie 2021-07-28

    Masks Off -numbers Up -duh… golly howd that happen fearless leader?

  10. Willy 2021-07-28

    I often imagine Noem in a presidential debate with a deer-at-the-taxidermist’s gaze when the moderator asks her any of the questions the serious posters pose on this site. She’ll be run off stage in a torrent of laughter. At the end of her fourteen minutes of fame (doesn’t deserve fifteen), she’ll be back home. Honestly, I feel sorry for Hayti. I like Hayti. It’s a nice little town. They’re probably happy she’s gone and why would anyone there want her back?

  11. Scott 2021-07-29

    Noem reminds me of the kid who just will not listen to their parents or teacher.

    You know the kid who runs off when mom tells him to come in the house, wash up and go to bed.

    You the the kid who will not follow mom’s direction to walk on this side of the street because of the biting dog on the other side of the street, yet the kid has to walk on the other side of the street and tempt fate with the biting dog.

  12. Sion G. Hanson 2021-07-29

    I had COVID last November, and was vaccinated in April. A friend of mine seldom leaves his ranch, and was not vaccinated. On July 15 he and I went to a concert in Deadwood. About a week later, he got sick. Yesterday he tested positive for COVID. He most certainly was exposed in Deadwood. This week the Sturgis Rally gears up. I’m not exactly sure what the definition of a superspreader event is, but…

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-07-29

    Changing situation, changing response: right on. When we learn new information, we are stupid not to adapt.

    John, I’d accept your apology if you were providing useful information, but all you’re peddling is the misinformation that, like Noem’s propaganda, puts lives and the economy at greater risk. That’s what you and Noem should really apologize for.

    Covid is real. Delta variant is real. Prisons and other congregate settings require either that everyone be vaccinated or that everyone mask up. Noem is recklessly pandering to ill-informed prison guards who aren’t as concerned about safety as they claim; she is using masks to distract from the fact that she’s not going to invest in real long-term solutions to rectify South Dakota’s chronic fiscal neglect of Corrections and other public services.

  14. John Dale 2021-07-29

    Dear Arlo;

    I’ve cited CBS News, PBS, BBC, members of congress, MD’s, and source after source after source.

    Are you sure the problem isn’t that you’re on the wrong side of history in claiming that free speech, not mask mandates and forced shots are fascistic?



  15. Chris S. 2021-07-29

    I see the troll infestation continues spreading dangerous misinformation about public health.

    I’m not interested in thirsty trolls or the food fight that ensues. There’s really no reason to visit the comments section anymore. Life’s too short.

  16. Spike 2021-07-29

    Chris is right. I’m telling you Corey crazy John is winning the battle of attrition on your site. There’s too many normal people here to put up with weeding thru his distractions. I guess I will just have to go back to therapy instead. Dang much more expensive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *