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Boring Is the Least of Our Gubernatorial Problems: Noem Still Downplays Vaccines in Favor of “Natural Immunity”

The spin blog on Kristi Noem’s payroll criticizes Steven Haugaard for making a long, boring speech.

Have you ever listened to Kristi Noem speak? She’s not only boring—

Halfway into robotically reading her hour-long State of the State speech off teleprompters—

—but persistently and dangerously wrong:

—South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem promised “to protect the people’s right to a medical or religious exemption from COVID vaccines.”

She then raised her hand with the index finger extended to emphasize some particular idiocy.

“We will also recognize natural immunity,” she said.

…“Contracting COVID once does not make you immune over the long term and certainly does not make you immune to new variants,” Jeffrey Townsend told The Daily Beast on Tuesday.

Townsend is the author of a study published by The Lancet Microbe in October 2021 whose conclusion he summarized in a Yale News write-up.

“Reinfection can reasonably happen in three months or less,” he was quoted saying. “Therefore, those who have been naturally infected should get vaccinated. Previous infection alone can offer very little long-term protection against subsequent infections” [Michael Daly, “The Reckless South Dakota Governor Wants to ‘Recognize Natural Immunity’ from Covid. She’s Not Only Wrong—She’s Also Encouraging Hesitant Folks Not to Get Vaccinated,” Daily Beast, 2022.01.12].

Noem seems to use her wrongheaded notion of natural immunity as an excuse for her inability and her arguably criminal unwillingness to come up with responsible, science-based policy interventions to protect the health of South Dakotans.

Boring and oblivious to the basic science of the pandemic—that’s South Dakota’s Governor Kristi Noem.


  1. Bob Newland 2022-01-12 18:55

    I have given better speeches. And THAT is a low bar.

  2. larry kurtz 2022-01-12 19:04

    The catwalk is the perfect place to make a political fashion statement something but seeing Newland in white lamè just doesn’t do it for many of us.

  3. Scott 2022-01-12 19:29

    This speech and Noems actions during the 2022 legislative session will probably allow Noem to raise $2 to $3 Million over the next 3 months. That is what this is all about.

    Dr. Fauci called out Rand Paul yesterday for what he is doing. Trump has raised all kinds of money claiming a stolen election. It is so sad that people can be manipulated so easily. I guess that is why we have so many scam artists out there trying to steal our money; people are so easy to manipulate.

  4. DaveFN 2022-01-12 19:31

    Noem’s too ignorant to realize or too plain stubborn to admit that vaccines drive the body’s natural immune response, no matter what type of vaccine is involved.

    If that which is natural is good—the naturalistic fallacy defined—she should be falling hook, line, and sinker for vaccinations.

  5. Neal 2022-01-12 19:59

    The “vaccine” does nothing — NOTHING — to prevent transmission or confer immunity. This is an undeniable fact at this point.

  6. Bob Newland 2022-01-12 20:01

    Neal, what is the MATTER with you?

  7. Porter Lansing 2022-01-12 20:30

    We’re all gonna die, Neal T.
    But fools like you, go first.
    أعطيت عنوانك للإخوان المسلمين.

  8. RS 2022-01-12 20:48

    Kristi has had real problems understanding vaccines ( or reading instructions). You could ask her horses that she injected in the neck with an inter nasal vaccine, but the abscesses killed them. Yep, she really is that dumb.

  9. sx123 2022-01-12 21:00

    Now there’s a 4 yr old kid dead from covid in SD. Would be nice for all eligible to do what needs to be done so more kids too young to get vaccinated aren’t put at a disadvantage.

    It is irresponsible to rely on natural ‘immunity’ when preventative vaccinations are available.

    Vaccinations might not 100% stop transmission, but they sure help.

    My fully vaccinated tween daughters have more balls than a lot of men in SD. Come on, grow a pair. Be proactive, not reactive. Get vaccinated.

  10. O 2022-01-12 21:07

    “Religious exemption” has been reduced to buzz word status. It only means “objection” for so many of the people using that term now; unless MAGA has been raised to officially recognized religious status (do cults get religious standing?). My VERY limited religious knowledge understands that there are examples, like Church of Christ, Scientist who have doctrine against vaccines, but the dogma from Christian Evangelicals is purely POLITICAL. Adding the adjective “religious” to objection doesn’t make it religious; instead it is a magic word that makes it unquestionable. There is a difference.

  11. O 2022-01-12 21:08

    Neal, I don’t think you understand what “undeniable” or “fact” mean. The evidence of vaccinations and hospitalizations and deaths could not be more clear.

  12. Mark Anderson 2022-01-12 22:23

    Neal and Noem are Djokovic fans. What can you expect? They have a natural immunity from facts. They are part of the herd. You heard it here.

  13. Neal 2022-01-12 22:31

    Bob, it’s both fascinating and tragic to behold your switch to authoritarianism after a long and noble history of fighting for personal autonomy.

  14. Neal 2022-01-12 22:39

    O, I said nothing about hospitalizations and death. I acknowledge that the “vaccine” does help with that. But I stand by my assertion that it does nothing to prevent transmission, as the skyrocketing number of cases indicates.

    In other words, my decision to be unvaxxed affects no one other than myself. The only argument you have for your mandates is hospital capacity. But hospitalization isn’t much of a risk unless you’re really old like grudznick or really obese like Pat Powers and Porter Lansing. They should definitely be vaxxed.

  15. grudznick 2022-01-12 23:00

    grudznick, who is old and feeble and vaccinated multiple times, still has an inkling that my stout constitution shall fend off any covid bugs that latch onto my lung muffins, or wherever these things gravitate to. I occasionally drink whisky to cleanse my upper respiratory tract. I suspect many of you libbies do the same. I prefer a dram from a particular stock, but that’s not important now.

    Of course what I have going for me is I have never sniffed a lick of burning demon weed, which will drop your natural immunity exponentially for every doobie you toked in the last 3 years.

    I sure wish Dr. McT was still around so I had a fellow scientist to discuss this with. #4Science

  16. grudznick 2022-01-12 23:08

    Mr. Neal, it is kind of a secret but my good friend Bob has been narcing for The Man for quite a while.
    It’s tough for he and I both to keep our allegiance to the Libertarians when we profit so well.

  17. cibvet 2022-01-13 00:47

    I don’t see the problem here. Yes, our health insurance premiums will rise, yes, the hospitals are full of un-vaccinated who will probably die, and yes, there will be collateral damage to some vaccinated people but I look at the bright side. Most of the fools who will die deserve no empathy or sympathy. They made their so called “freedom choice”, to live as a “long hauler” or die. Again, their choice.They demanded it, they got it.

  18. DaveFN 2022-01-13 01:07

    Reduction in population illness has everything to do with a decrease in transmission. Hence the value of vaccination.

  19. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-01-13 05:12

    “My decision to be unvaxxed affects no one other than myself.”—Neal, that is the wrongest thing you’ve said. You commit the fallacy of thinking individually and selfishly, when epidemiology requires us to think statistically and globally. Your decision to remained unvaccinated increases the opportunity for the coronavirus to infect, multiply, mutate, and spread. Your selfish decision, multiplied by the millions like you who think individually instead of statistically, increases the chances that other people will get sick and die and the pandemic will persist, causing and prolonging the social and economic harms.

    Get your shots, Neal.

  20. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-01-13 05:15

    Neal, your decision to spread your selfish and mistaken thinking also affects far more than yourself. You reinforce the incorrect and unhealthy thinking of others, thus multiplying your harm.

    Neal, the only way your decision to refuse the vaccine would affect no one but yourself would be if you were to interact with no one for the duration of the pandemic.

  21. jerry 2022-01-13 08:47

    Pot as Covid prevention? Damn right. Marijuana proven to be the answer. Demand the legislature to provide this life saving practice.

    “As a complement to vaccines, small-molecule therapeutic agents are needed to treat or prevent infections by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its variants, which cause COVID-19. Affinity selection-mass spectrometry was used for the discovery of botanical ligands to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Cannabinoid acids from hemp (Cannabis sativa) were found to be allosteric as well as orthosteric ligands with micromolar affinity for the spike protein. In follow-up virus neutralization assays, cannabigerolic acid and cannabidiolic acid prevented infection of human epithelial cells by a pseudovirus expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and prevented entry of live SARS-CoV-2 into cells. Importantly, cannabigerolic acid and cannabidiolic acid were equally effective against the SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant B.1.1.7 and the beta variant B.1.351. Orally bioavailable and with a long history of safe human use, these cannabinoids, isolated or in hemp extracts, have the potential to prevent as well as treat infection by SARS-CoV-2.”

  22. RS 2022-01-13 09:10

    Over 2500 South Dakotans have died from having contracted Covid from someone that was spreading the virus. I would hope that 100% of the spreaders had no intent for those results, but how many are living with that knowledge now?
    Or maybe we should ask those that still refuse to protect others, “Do you really even care if your inaction cause a death?”

  23. Eve Fisher 2022-01-13 09:15

    As of yesterday, the penitentiary in Sioux Falls is closed indefinitely to all visitors and volunteers – only mandatory staff allowed in – because of Covid.

  24. mike from iowa 2022-01-13 09:43

    Neal, Glen Beck has said all along he didn’t need vaccine. Now he is seriously ill with covid and taking Ivermectin. If horse meds help him grow another set of legs, you can enter him into Kentucky Derby, if he lives.

  25. jerry 2022-01-13 10:23

    Or when he croaks, glue

  26. Richard Schriever 2022-01-13 10:30

    Neal – MASKS can prevent transmission. Got yours on? EVER? Two guys not wearing pants. One pees on the other. put pants on the guy being peed on, only his pants get wet, maybe a little gets through. Put pants on the peeing guy, now he only pees his own pants – the other guy’s stays dry. THAT is how masks work. Again, I ask; Got yours on?

  27. cibvet 2022-01-13 10:33

    Making the United States a better place one death at a time.

  28. mike from iowa 2022-01-13 10:51

    Great job, Jerry!

  29. Donald Pay 2022-01-13 14:11

    Regarding Neal’s rather broad statement that vaccination does not affect transmission, this study linked below indicates that transmission is affected by vaccination. The virus has been evolving from alpha to delta to omicron. This study looked at the differences in alpha and delta in terms of transmission. While alpha had clearly diminished transmission in vaccinated people, delta had less diminished transmission. Neal will probably not agree that the virus evolved, since he has been an evolution denier, as well and a vaccination denier. Nevertheless, covid has and is ever evolving. One way it is evolving is to become more transmissible. I haven’t seen any studies on how the omicron variant varies in transmission in vaccinated versus unvaccinated people.

  30. mike from iowa 2022-01-13 15:02

    COVID-19 in South Dakota: 2,584 total new cases; Death toll rises to 2,544; Active cases at 24,796

  31. Mark Anderson 2022-01-13 16:54

    Come on folks, nothings wrong with killer Neal. He can print t shirts with that. Killer that is…. the unvaccinated girls will be attracted to that won’t they? Don’t listen to responsible medical people or clinics, just trust Neal…..

  32. Arlo Blundt 2022-01-13 18:48

    So….the pandemic burns on for another 2 or 3 years. The dead pile up in the streets, the hospitals continue3 in crises. Health workers burn out or contract the variants. The elderly and susceptible huddle and hide. Mrs. Noem collects her blood money and continues with her fantasy unabated.

  33. grudznick 2022-01-13 21:26

    grudznick, who is very old and feeble, still feels fine on this good day with my vaccine blood. Mr. Neal, unmasked and unvaxxed, goes on with no covid bugs on him, and Mr. Nesiba, the masked and pantsless bandit of the legislatures is laid up badly with covid bugs all over.

    Who among you out there still doesn’t believe it when grudznick says “there is no god?”

  34. Guy 2022-01-13 21:42

    Grudz, I agree with you there is a God. However, this God would NOT APPROVE of how far our greedy capitalist system has fallen to serve only those WEALTHY SPECIAL INTERESTS in Pierre and Washington, D.C. Our Governor’s TOP PRIORITIES include funding a shooting range most people living in Meade County DO NOT want and ongoing lawsuits to get fireworks over Mount Rushmore in a forest that HAS NOT SEEN substantial snowfall these past two winters. Our Governor cares more about her national profile, image, and pet projects than funding what her citizens need. Playing off what Maude Findley use to say: “God will get you for that, Kristi!”

  35. ABC 2022-01-13 23:25

    Freedom to “not” get vaccinated is the freedom to spread the COVID to people who are boosted, vaccinated and unvaccinated, resulting in further infections and DEATHS.

    A Governor that promotes this “free-dumb” is promoting the right of kids and adults to “SPREAD” the disease and increase deaths.
    She does not rail against the 5 or 6 vaccines necessary for a kid to attend K-12. Only the Covid-19 vaccine, which her “Model” Mr Trump developed.

    Herd immunity? Natural immunity? No such thing.

    The downside of this Flag Waving, Trump loving Republican Party is very tragic. DEATH. And more DEATH.

    Maybe we can watch the First Star Wars movie, and remember the Death Star.

    We can stop the Death Star.

    We can remove the Republicans from power permanently, so their ignorance of science and the Constitution will not kill any more
    innocent South Dakotans.
    If the Democartic Party doesn’t have a PLAN to take back power, then we in this blog have to ask the tough question: WHO will kick the Republicans out of power, permanently? Who?

    Who is better than leaving it to no one.

  36. Guy 2022-01-13 23:33

    ABC, I understand, BUT are the Democrats going to stick up for WORKING CLASS PRIORITIES instead of just COVID Policies? Hmmmmm??? MORE Affordable housing for starters???

  37. WillyNilly 2022-01-14 13:26

    Sorry for the delay but I wanted to comment on Scott’s comment about people (Trumpers) being manipulated. Trump has groomed his followers similar to the way a pedophile grooms his young vulnerable victims. Trump, like a pedophile. has radar for those who feel bad about themselves, who feel they are being left out or behind, and feel unloved and unappreciated. He moves in to make them comfortable with him because he understands. He reassures them that he can help, he can fix things, and that no one but him really cares and everyone else looks down on them. And he reinforces his words with bright promises about the future. The victim is slowly and consistently groomed until he is caught and so invested that he can’t get out. Trump followers have become so invested in Trump that if they leave they fear the consequences. Trump is a successful groomer.

  38. mike from iowa 2022-01-14 16:20

    SCOTUS unsigned decision to block Biden vaccine mandates is not grounded in rule of law and the magats on the court are being blasted for their willingness to expand presidential powers only when a magat is potus.

  39. ABC 2022-01-20 14:13

    With over 2,500 new Covid-19 cases on 1-20-2022, we are seeing the fruits of stupidity—no masks, no vaccine, no boosting, MANY problems.

    Democracy is the majority rules, right?

    44% of our population decided on NO vaccination. (Yet they can still vote).

    On this blog, we’re smart, right?

    Then we should be able to do smarter actions than the R majority.

    We can outsmart them. (Think Bill Clinton, Barack Obama).

    Does this mean we are DOOMED in South Dakota because a majority wants to hunker down, Vote R or not vote at all, and we are
    simply outnumbered in every election? No.

    It means we have to be smarter every day. Do you think the business leaders in this state are going to say–
    “Hey, the Democrats need to win more elections. OK. We’ll increase our payrolls by 70,000 people and we’ll recruit only
    from high Democrat states like Hawaii, California, New York and New Jersey. We can screen them before we hire them
    for their political leanings, too. 70,000 votes, yeah the Democrats will win more elections!” No, they still support

    Mistakes are made by both parties. But left of center parties will try to change laws
    and make people healthier, safer and with more economic opportunities. Right of center parties will come down
    more for restricting voting rights, building prisons with COVID money, more laws to keep our jails full and our votes not counting
    in June and November.

    What’s the answer?

    I think most of us here want to change the State economically and politically, so that we can feel
    our elected representative in Pierre and DC are NOT attending to the needs of themselves and
    the priviledged members of society.

    I doubt that any of us would want our states businesses to keep paying low wages, not impeaching and
    removing Ravnsborgg, and Gov ernors and Legislators generally doing stupid things.

    To boost our economy and raise the quality of our Government, WE have to be the change!

    48% of voters are Republican, no problem! We know that a big percentage of Independents vote Republican, no problem!
    We know that “Other” and Libertarians, despite being 1% plus of the electorate, never get ANY representation, no problem!

    Why do I say “no problem”?

    Because someone who wants to win and create a better world will say, No problem! and build a better world, anyway!

    2 days out of 730, we vote (June and November). What about the other 728 non-voting days? We can bitch or BUILD!

    Every day we can create a better world. (Cynicism won’t get us there.)

    If it can be done in Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Canada, we can do it here!

    Cynicism doesn’t build. Watch “Miss Virginia ” on Netflix.

    We have to believe that we can be the change, and change STARTS with us.

  40. ABC 2022-01-20 14:25

    Rank choice voting would help. Alaska ha”When is the first/next election the Ranked Choice Voting system will be used?
    The November 8, 2022 General Election.s it !

    “Is there a benefit of ranking multiple choices?
    Yes. By ranking multiple candidates, you can still have a voice in who gets elected even if your top choice does not win. Ranking multiple candidates ensures your vote will go toward your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th choice if your top choice is eliminated, giving you more voice in who wins.”

    “When is the first/next election the Ranked Choice Voting system will be used?
    The November 8, 2022 General Election.”

    Definition of democracy– (Oxford)– a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
    By the whole population—-Ahhhhh! They don’t have to be “qualified” by holding drivers licenses or State Ids.
    Elected representatives—ahhh, but it doesn’t say majority rules all the time.

    Why not, get 6% of the vote, you can represent your District or State, 6% of the time that the House, Senate or Governor sits in office? That is Democracy. The person who gets 60% of the vote could still be in office 60% x 365 days for a Governor.

    That could be our Democracy. Just change the laws.

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