It’s probably safe to say that South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem will run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. I know this because the New York Times just did one of its predictable here’s-a-popular-Republican-who-screwed-up-during-the-pandemic hit pieces.
Most of the national media’s hatred has been saved for Gov. Ron DeSantis in Florida for having declined to throw his state into perpetual economic lockdown and still managing to keep Florida’s death rate well below that of its blue-state peers. But the New York Times on Wednesday took time to aim north, publishing a six-minute video purporting to demonstrate “How Gov. Kristi Noem rebranded her failures as ‘freedom.'”
The voice-over describes Noem as “a uniquely dangerous kind of politician, one who’s reckless but sounds rational, smart but intellectually dishonest and is willing to endanger South Dakotans just to get a few political points.”
That’s in contrast to someone like Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who, despite overseeing a state with consistently the second-highest death rate in the country, can do no wrong in the media’s eyes. Don’t forget, the New York Times likened his droning press briefings to a “tender embrace.”
The video critique of Noem, just like all media attempts to politicize the pandemic, is flagrantly partisan and does a dismal job making the case that the governor was a science-denier or a poor manager.
It shows a clip of Noem publicly stating, “We all know that the science tells us we cannot stop this virus.” After that quote, the New York Times inserts a buzzer sound and the voice-over goes on to list several Asian countries (including China, where the numbers cannot be trusted) with “such low infection rates that people are living normal lives.”
They got her!
Oh, wait — no, actually, they didn’t. The liars didn’t even provide the full context of Noem’s quote. What she says in full is, “We all know that the science tells us we cannot stop this virus. Our goal from day one was to slow down the spread and to free up hospital capacity for those who need higher levels of care.”
To “slow down the spread” is the same thing as having “low infection rates,” which is exactly what those Asian countries mentioned by the New York Times were able to do. None were able to “stop” it.
True, South Dakota, like every state, saw an intense spike in new cases from mid-August to mid-November, which had come after the United States had effectively managed to “flatten the curve” for a few weeks. It’s also true that the surge was likely and significantly related to relaxed economic restrictions and a resumption of normal activities such as indoor dining. And as of right now, South Dakota is the second-highest state for new infections per 100,000 people.
But why did the New York Times need to go to the other hemisphere to make the comparison? Surely, there are other states in the U.S. led by lockdown-happy Democratic governors that are doing things right. Right?
Well, no. Even with the second-highest infection rate, South Dakota is currently No. 6 when it comes to the death rate. Of the top five, three are run by Democrats.
That’s an awful lot of twisting and reaching and anger from the New York Times. But that’s because it thinks Noem is going to run for president, and it expects she might actually be a good candidate.