We bought her a sauna; you’d think she’d stay home more.
For the third time in five months, Governor Kristi Noem is off trying to be a big shot in Las Vegas. She spoke yesterday to the gun industry lobby at the Shot Show, hosted by firearms industry trade lobbying group National Shooting Sports Foundation:
Noem did manage to bop in to her own Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Pierre yesterday morning before catching her plane to Vegas. But Noem’s trip appears to have kept her from getting back into the saddle today, leaving Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden to fill in for her at a regular press briefing:
Tacitly suggesting there’s no urgent problem requiring the Governor’s attention back home, Lt. Gov. Rhoden told reporters that South Dakota is “in relatively good shape” with respect to coronavirus hospitalizations and available hospital beds. At their own press conference in Sioux Falls, Dr. Mike Wilde of Sanford Health and Dr. David Basel of Avera Health said the shots they need the public to get to help the hospitals deal with the highest number of covid cases reported in South Dakota yet are not the shots Noem is promoting in Vegas:
“We are making harder and harder choices every day,” Basel said. “Those choices get harder every day as those numbers go up.”
Basel said every time a patient is discharged or “way too often” dies, a discussion happens about which person is the next sickest to fill an empty bed.
“We need the public’s help,” Basel said. “We need their help in several ways.”
Basel called for people who have been vaccinated to get the booster shot. He said people who have been vaccinated but not boosted only have 30% protection against the Omicron variant.
“You really need that booster to bump you back up to 70-80% effectiveness,” Basel said. “We have plenty of vaccine supply. If you want a booster, we’ll figure out a way to get it to you.”
…Wilde said unselfish actions of getting vaccinated and boosted will help hospital capacity and health care workers the most.
“We continue to need your help,” Wilde said. “In the hospital, we see those who are greatly affected by COVID-19” [Eric Mayer, “‘These Folks Are Very Ill’: Hospitals Ask for Help Slowing Covid-19 Spread,” KELO-TV, 2022.01.20].
In addition to getting our shots, good pandemic sense says we should mask up, avoid travel, avoid large crowds, and not hang around indoors with people outside our bubbles of regular interaction.
Instead of promoting any of those precautions, Kristi Noem is off promoting guns in Las Vegas.
Related Reading: New analysis from Everytown for Gun Safety finds that looser gun laws correspond to higher rates of death by firearms. South Dakota is a bit of an outlier in this study: Everytown says we have the 46th weakest gun laws, but our rate of shooting each other to death, 13.6 casualties per 100,000 people, is near the national average. Either South Dakotans are better duckers or worse shots… both of which appear to apply to Governor Noem.