Noem Video-Tweet On COVID “Tasteless and Offensive”

Tweet Downplays COVID Safety Measures
as SD Sets Record for Number of Deaths and Cases

Sioux Falls, South Dakota (September 25, 2020)— Governor Kristi Noem is coming under fire for using a video of her pheasant hunting at a private hunting preserve to mock the need for social distancing during the COVID- 19 pandemic on the same day the state set records for the number of new cases, active cases current hospitalizations and deaths.

South Dakota Democratic Party Chairman Randy Seiler said, “Kristi Noem’s video-tweet of her hunting pheasants while mocking social distancing is tasteless and offensive.  Had she enforced the CDC recommended plan for social distancing instead of doing nothing, thousands of South Dakotans would not have suffered from this virus and dozens of lives could have been saved,” To date, over 20,000 South Dakotans have been infected with the virus and over 200 have died.

On Thursday, South Dakota set new records for the spread of COVID-19 with 463 new cases across the state, with a stunning positivity rate of 21% percent after Wednesday’s record 25% positivity rate.  South Dakota’s positivity rate is one of the highest in the nation and the CDC indicates that a high positivity rate means there are widespread infections in the community tested and that only a subset of the community at risk for the virus is being tested. In addition on Thursday, a record eight people died and there were a record 194 current COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state.

In the tweet from Noem, she can be seen in a corn field with a shotgun looking at the camera saying, “This is how we do social distancing in South Dakota” she then turns away from the camera as a rooster pheasant flies over.  She shoots three times before the pheasant falls at which point Noem turns back to the camera and says, “Less COVID more hunting, that’s the plan for the future.”

“Governor Noem seems to think COVID and measures to contain it is a joke.  Her ‘plan’ to deal with COVID is to mock safety measures to contain it.  There are 20,000 families in South Dakota who aren’t laughing.  She should apologize to them and start acting like a governor instead of a stand-up comedian wannabe,” Seiler said.

Please direct questions to SDDP Executive Director Pam Cole via email or phone (605) 695-1996.