South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) on Monday told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham that residents that choose to attend the state’s Independence Day event at Mount Rushmore will be given the option not to wear protective face masks even though the novel coronavirus is still rampaging across the United States and many states roll back plans to reopen. The plague enthusiast Republican also said there will be no social distancing at the event.
“We will have a large event on July 3. We told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home, but those who want to come and join us, we’ll be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one, Noem said. “But we will not be social distancing.”
The president is attending the event, which will feature a flyover and fireworks. Trump is also expected to give remarks at the celebration, according to The Hill. He will, of course, not be standing near any of the people likely to be infected.
South Dakota has had 6,326 cases of COVID-19, a number the governor seems to want to increase. The United States has had more than two and a half million cases of the coronavirus with upwards of one hundred and twenty-eight thousand deaths. Republicans, including Donald Trump, contributed to that death toll by pushing to open states’ economies amid the pandemic.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is a prime example of that for failing to take the pandemic seriously and putting the economy over people’s lives. New York — a state that was flooded with COVID-19 cases — reported 624 new cases on June 28, down from a high of more than ten thousand a day. In contrast, Florida is reporting more coronavirus cases than ever before. The state now has more than five thousand new COVID-19 cases each day for a week straight. DeSantis blamed the increase of testing, just like Trump did. But the positivity rate of the tests is higher, so the increase in positives is unrelated to an increase in testing.
“As you’re testing more, you’re going to see more cases, and most of the cases are sub-clinical cases,” DeSantis said early last month.
At some point, people will need to be held accountable for the mishandling of the pandemic. We’re talking about the staggering irresponsibility of our elected officials to address the deadly disease. Donald Trump has made protective face masks a political point while Americans are dying.
Featured image via Political Tribune gallery
Like what you see here? Join the discussion on Facebook over at Americans For Sanity!