Governor skewers 'statistics' on COVID-19 for inaccuracies

Gov. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., speaks at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020 (RNC video screenshot)

The governor of South Dakota is skewering the “statistics” that the government releases and the media uses regarding the COVID-19 pandemic for their inaccuracy.

Gov. Kristi Noem said this week that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must have been basing its recommendations for mitigating the spread of COVID on politics – not medical data.

“We’ve all recognized that recently with the CDC they changed their opinion and their guidance based on political pressure at different times,” she said.

In fact, among the most recent accusations is that teachers’ unions across America have had an inordinate influence over guidance that is being released by health officials.

The issue in Noem’s state concerned the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally held last year – in spite of leftist criticism and opposition.

After the event, which attracted more than 460,000 people from 61% of all U.S. counties, according to the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, it originally was blamed for 260,000 COVID cases.

That blame was set by the Center for Health Economics and Policy Studies at San Diego State University – and came last September.

But now, a report from the CDC, compiled from data from 39 state health agencies including South Dakota’s, found only 649 positive cases of COVID-19 across the country in the two weeks following the 10-day event in August that were tied to the Black Hills.

Noem said the inaccurate guesses and the headlines they generate are no more than an attempt to “demonize” the Sturgis event.

“We’re talking about the Sturgis bike rally and that has been labeled for almost a year as a super-spreader event, which was an absolute lie,” she said.

South Dakota Department of Health spokesman Daniel Bucheli said the state agency cooperated with the CDC review but was unable to “speak for their data collection or reporting methodology.”

The Washington Examiner explained Noem said on an interview on Wednesday she pushed back against the “super spreader” label.

“And I’m glad that some of those facts are coming to light today.”

The report said the 649 total includes “secondary and tertiary” case and only one death was linked.

The newest study had contacted health agencies in all 50 states plus four major cities, and 15 did not respond, which means that the 649 could have been higher if they had reported.

The San Diego University estimate earlier had concluded there were $12.2 billion in healthcare costs from the rally.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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