How do South Dakotans practice social distancing?
Spending time outdoors, away from others and on the hunt, Governor Kristi Noem suggested in a video posted to her social media accounts this week.
“This is how we do social distancing in South Dakota,” she wrote above a 15-second clip that shows her with a shotgun and an orange cap and vest. walking through a vast cornfield – before pulling a bird out of the sky.
KRISTI NOEM: NO MOTHER WANTS TO RAISE HER CHILD IN THE VIOLENT STREETS OF DEMOCRATIC CITIES
“Less COVID, more hunting is the plan for the future,” she says in the video.
The posts have garnered tens of thousands of shares and retweets between her Twitter and Facebook accounts and racked up millions of views.
The video comes months after she said “We will not be social distancing” during President Trump’s July 4 rally at Mount Rushmore and after Sturgis’ motorcycle rally in her state where hundreds of thousands of people showed up, few of whom were wearing masks or following social distancing guidelines.
Earlier this month, North and South Dakota saw some of the fastest per capita novel coronavirus infection rates in the United States
According to a controversial study by researchers at San Diego State University, nearly 20% of the country’s new cases in August were linked to the Sturgis event. That would be more than 266,000 cases – more than half of the attendees at an event that hosted more than 460,000 people.
Noem called the claim “fiction” earlier this month.
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“Under the guise of academic research, this report is nothing less than an attack on those who exercised their personal freedom to attend Sturgis,” she said at the time. “As you might expect, some in the media are reporting breathlessly on this unpaired model, based on incredibly flawed assumptions that do not reflect actual facts and data.”
Snopes, the fact-checking website, called the allegation of more than 250,000 cases of coronavirus linked to Sturgis as “unproven.”
Public health officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Evie Fordham of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.