It took $10,800 to do it, but 108 more people got their coronavirus shots in Rapid City this week thanks to former legislator (and Dakota Free Press) sponsor Stanford Adelstein and fellow philanthropist Dave Davis:
A former lawmaker, businessman, and philanthropist got his birthday wish. More than ninety people turned out to receive a COVID-19 Vaccine. In return Stanford Adelstein donated 90 $100 gift cards.
In partnership with Black Hills Area Community Foundation and Monument Health, 108 Johnson and Johnson vaccinations were administered at the Monument at LaCroix Hall in Rapid City.
Chris Huber is the Donor Relations Manager for the Black Hills Area Community Foundation. He says local donor Dave Davis funded the remaining gift cards after Adelstein funded the first 90.
“It’s big, yeah. We’ve been very surprised. We had 60 people in line, approximately, when we opened the door. So it’s been great to see that turnout” [Richard Two Bulls, “Former Lawmaker Donates Gift Cards for Vaccine Incentive Clinic,” SDPB, 2021.09.03].
If $100 were enough to get everyone else in South Dakota who has dilly-dallied to do their duty and get their coronavirus shots, Adelstein, Davis, and other benefactors would have to cough up $28,756,500, $100 for each of the South Dakotans age 12 and up who have yet to roll up their sleeves. Hmm… The LRC said South Dakota state government would be receiving $974 million from this year’s round of coronavirus relief money. My best guess from the BFM’s covid stimulus spending data indicates the state may have over $770 million of that cash left (minus $9,000 for Kristi’s new gun desk). If we’re not doing anything else with our remaining coronavirus relief funds, maybe we could actually relieve everyone of coronavirus by paying the rest of our population $100 each to get their shots.
Such spending might be the most effective use of coronavirus relief dollars. After all, those 288,000 dilly-dalliers, including those folks who lined up for the Adelstein/Davis gift cards, are responsible for the lower-than-hoped-for job growth numbers:
Employers added 235,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported on Friday, far fewer than the roughly 750,000 expected by forecasters. The nation’s unemployment rate fell to 5.2%, from 5.4%.
…With COVID-19 cases having spiked in July and August, Americans have been buying fewer plane tickets and reducing hotel stays. Restaurant dining, after having fully recovered in late June, has declined to about 10% below pre-pandemic levels, and some live events have been canceled. Some 9 million unemployed workers arestarting next week, likely dragging down consumer spending and slowing the recovery further.
Businesses are also delaying their returns to offices, threatening the survival of downtown restaurants, coffee shops and dry cleaners. Many manufacturers are still struggling with persistent supply bottlenecks, while a recent purchasing managers’ survey found that the Delta variant is causing significant absenteeism in factories.
In August, the number of people who reported losing work hours because their employer was closed due to the pandemic rose by 400,000, to 5.6 million, according to the Labor Department [Irina Ivanova, “Job Growth Slowed Sharply in August as Covid-19 Spread,” CBS News, 2021.09.03].
Vaccine refusers are also responsible for Dr. David Newquist’s grandson getting sick:
Just as I was getting ready to hit the publish button for this, I was notified that my seven-year-old grandson, who wasn’t feeling well this morning, was tested at school for Covid-19 and the test was positive. Thank you protesters for this blessing of liberty [David Newquist, “Follow the Science. Fire the Incompetent Nurses,” Northern Valley Beacon, 2021.09.02].
Nationally, covid-19 deaths have climbed steadily in recent weeks, hitting a seven-day average of about 1,500 a day Thursday, after falling to the low 200s in early July — the latest handiwork of a contagious variant that has exploited the return to everyday activities by tens of millions of Americans, many of them unvaccinated. The dead include two Texas teachers at a junior high, who died last week within days of each other; a 13-year-old middle schoolboy from Georgia; and a nurse, 37, in Southern California who left behind five children, including a newborn [Ariana Eunjung Cha, Dan Keating, and Jacqueline Dupree, “U.S. Covid Death Toll Hits 1,500 a Day amid Delta Scourge,” Washington Post, 2021.09.03].
Paying people to get their vaccines at this point, after they’ve done so much damage to our economy and our public health, after they’ve led to the preventable deaths of tens of thousands of Americans, feels like paying the Mafia to stop smashing our store windows and beating up our employees in the alley. We’re already offering a safe and effective remedy for free; why should we have to pay anti-social, anti-science refuseniks for their destructive behavior?
But we can’t wait for these knuckleheads to cull themselves from our herd with their worm pills. We need to crush the pandemic now. If offering $100 a head gets the unvaccinated to do their duty, save the economy, and save lives, then let’s do it. South Dakota Department of Health, follow Adelstein’s lead: roll out the gift cards so people will roll up their sleeves!