Letters to the editor, May 16, 2020
Do the right thing
To the editor,
Governor Noem you are signing all sorts of Executive Orders to help businesses in the State, so how about signing a few orders to help individuals and families who are about to get kicked out of their apartments or homes because they cannot pay the rent, because, they have no jobs right now. How about it governor, give the working class a break. You gave Executive orders to help the farmers and ranchers suffering, and I have no problem with that, now help the hourly worker who has lost his or her job because of this deadly virus. I think you might have it in you to be that caring about the none business class. Ban all evictions until this Pandemic is over.
Do the right thing.
Brent Cox, Sturgis
What's the deal?
I would like to know what Gov. Kristi Noem has against the Native Americans here in South Dakota?
She wants to remove road blocks that will protect those that live on the reservations? They are doing their part to keep the COVID-19 virus at bay. Isn’t that what she is asking allof us to do? Does she want the reservations here to end up like the Navajo reservation-a hot spot for death?
Leave the reservations alone Noem, you don’t do anything for them now and you won’t do anything for them if the virus gets on the reservations.
Linda Palzkill, Rapid City
DOH lack of transparency
To the editor,
Is it dishonesty and secrecy or just plain incompetence at the Department of Health?
Why can’t Gov. Noem and Sec. Kim Malsam-Rysdon inform Mayor Allender, Rapid City, and the surrounding community of the location of COVID-19 positive tests? They were quick to call out a business in Deadwood! Gov. Noem is also good at “name dropping,” making sure we all knew she was on the phone with Vice President Pence to discuss tests and supplies. And what good has that done? The Oyate Health Center CEO, Jerilyn Church, says the health center still needs more of both.
Seems to be a lot of empty words and from both Malsam-Rysdon and Noem. This Republican is glad to have voted for Billie Sutton.
Bruce H. Venner, Rapid City
Noem disrespects tribes for political gain
To the editor,
By my layman’s understanding of the Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868, as well as a 1990 Federal Appeals Court decision, the Oglala and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes have the right to establish checkpoints on their reservations in their effort to protect themselves from Covid-19. Even if this is not the case, I believe that Gov. Noem is morally wrong to fight the tribes on this issue.
Considering the devastation that previous epidemics, introduced by "Western Expansion,” has had on Native Americans, the poor health care infrastructure on the reservations, and the fact that Native Americans disproportionately suffer many of the health conditions that make the virus deadly, does the state really want, or even need, to fight this issue? It seems extremely 'tone deaf,' and very counter-productive to our efforts to forge a relationship of trust and common cause between the state and the tribes.
Is it possible that Gov. Noem is threatening to sue the tribes just so that she can get on Fox News, be seen by President Trump, and increase her national exposure among her fellow right-wing extremists? Gov. Noem should follow the tribes’ leadership and put the needs of the people ahead of her political ambitions.
Richard Aaron Jones, New Underwood
To the editor,
I saw a bit on the internet lately stating that some Bernie supporters are undecided about voting for Biden. What are they thinking?? Don't they realize that ridding this country of that incompetent lying national disgrace in the White House is the most important vote they'll ever cast? Maybe the Rolling Stones said it best: "You can't always get what you want - but it you try sometime, you'll find you get what you need". The Electoral College renders good guy votes in South Dakota meaningless, of course, but if local Demos have Bernie backer friends in swing states lets hope they can convince them to save our democracy and get out the vote for Biden. Bernie wants them to do that and so do real patriots everywhere.
Terry Painter, Rapid City
Death In The United States, 2020
To the editor,
Here are some strange statistics to ponder:
In March of this year the total mortality in the US was 193,000. This includes 4,300 COVID-19 deaths in March.
In March of the past four years (2016-19), the average mortality in the US was 227,000.
Correct. Mortality in March this year was 15% less than the average in March of 2016 thru 2019, in spite of COVID-19. Do you think it may be possible that deaths attributed to COVID-19 in 2020 may be overstated? It will be interesting to see death statistics for common maladies such as chronic heart disease, lung disease, and cancers.
For this we have thrown away 1/3 of our economy?
There were 58,000+ COVID-19 deaths reported in April 2020. It will be interesting to see the total mortality in April 2020 and to compare it to prior years’ data. The April mortality in 2019 was 274,000 (weeks 14 through 18, 2019, 29 March through 4 May). So far, reported mortality in April 2020 is 268,000 (week 14 through 18, 2020, 28 March through 2 May). Reporting is complete for only 46% of week 18 in 2020. However, I’m guessing that another 26,000 deaths or so would yield an “excess” mortality due to COVID-19 of about 20,000. Not nearly so bad as the media is portraying and also begging the question of proper attribution of death to COVID-19.
Rodney Michael, Rapid City
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