Gov’s Senior Advisor Maggie Seidel drops truth-bomb on NY Times after attack article on Kristi Noem

Governor Noem must be getting more popular on a national basis, as no less than the New York Times did an attack piece against the Governor for her stewardship during the COVID-19 Crisis.

However, Governor Noem has the truth on her side, as related by the Gov’s Senior Advisor Maggie Seidel, who dropped a truth-bomb on the problematic reporting via e-mail to the state’s media:

For those of you who get questions about the agitprop the New York Times put out this morning about Governor Noem, I thought you’d like to have the actual facts in hand.

The Times asserts that Governor Noem is “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.”

Not quite the “tender embrace” we had hoped for, but there’s still time…

I’m going to skip the point-by-point rebuttal, and instead highlight a couple of the most absurd issues with the piece.

The opening CNN clip stating, “More people are testing positive than negative” in South Dakota, is not true. At no point during the pandemic was it true. Anybody following the data put out by the South Dakota Department of Health knows that this claim is 100% false.

The claim that China stopped the spread of the virus is laughable. How did the virus – which originated in China – spread to every across the globe

Why did the Times make no mention of South Dakota’s outstanding deployment of the vaccine. Governor Noem is the “Vaccine Queen,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Of course, this is a testament to the people of South Dakota, the outstanding team at the Department of Health, and our health care providers across the state.

Given the Times’ attempt to rewrite history here, it’s probably time to revisit the facts we sent out when these hit pieces originally ran back in November.

Using a 7-day rolling average is ridiculous. The virus moved across the globe in waves. The better statistic would be to layer each of the waves on top of each other and compare data points. When you do that, you get a very different picture.

As I pointed out back in November, the entire United States hadn’t broken the top 10 list for deaths (per 100,000) globally.

The death rate (per 100,000) on November 16th:

  1. New Jersey – 187
  2. New York – 175
  3. Massachusetts – 150
  4. Connecticut – 133
  5. Louisiana – 132

North Dakota was 8th on the list at 97.

South Dakota was 17th on the list at 73 – lower than the overall US death rate per 100,000.

Also at the time, the world was seeing a rise in cases. The Midwest – not only North and South Dakota, but also Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and many others – saw cases rise. Then, and still today, there is zero science – yes, zero – to support the claim that South Dakota saw a rise in cases because Governor Noem wouldn’t issue a mask mandate or other harsh restrictions.

We shared:

Illinois health officials reported 10,631 new cases, and 72 deaths on Sunday. Illinois has had a mask mandate for everyone over the age of 2 since May 1.

 Minnesota health officials reported a record 8,703 new cases and 35 new deaths on Saturday. Minnesota’s mask mandate has been in place since July 25.

Wisconsin health officials reported more than 5,100 new cases and 52 more deaths on Saturday. Wisconsin’s mask mandate has been in place since August 1.

Today, if we look exclusively at death rate, South Dakota still fares better than the Times’ beloved lockdown states:

The death rate (per 100,000) as of January 27, 2021:

  1. New Jersey – 238
  2. New York – 220
  3. Massachusetts – 206
  4. Rhode Island – 201
  5. Mississippi – 197

South Dakota is 7th on the list at 193.
North Dakota is 8th on the list at 189.

But the story runs deeper than that. Because the author moves back and forth between case and death-rate data as if they’re interchangeable – a frequent and deliberately misleading tactic of those agitating for more intrusive government mandates. The viewer is left with the impression that South Dakota is somehow unique when it comes to Covid deaths. That’s totally false.

The Times also failed to note that our cases in the fall/winter came down as fast or faster than states under severe lockdowns, like Illinois..

The sad news is that this piece recycles the same stale narrative the mainstream media has attacked Governor Noem with for months. This piece is irresponsible, intellectually dishonest, and the latest example of purposeful media manipulation.

Curious, should we hold our breath for the Times to do a similar piece on Andrew Cuomo?

Stay well.


Maggie Seidel
Senior Advisor & Policy Director
Office of Governor Kristi Noem

What do you think?

17 thoughts on “Gov’s Senior Advisor Maggie Seidel drops truth-bomb on NY Times after attack article on Kristi Noem”

  1. Governor Noem isn’t nearly as “reckless” and “intellectually dishonest” as most of the anti-Christian socialists at the New York Times, and if she’s more potentially “dangerous” than they are, it’s probably because their publication is so widely distrusted.

  2. It is clear our Governor occupies a great deal of space in the minds of elites who need affirmation to feel good about themselves and need to destroy those who know they have no clothes.

  3. OK i agree lets just look at ourselves in the mirror. What is indisputable is that more than one out of every 9 South Dakotans have caught this virus so far, with 1700+ dying from it. Also about 25-30% of the survivors will have serious, extended or permanent health issues. Obviously many of those 100,000+ testing contagious did not or could not heed the warnings and did not or could not shelter at home. Is that all Governor Kristi Noem’s fault? No…after all she did stress ‘personal responsibility’…
    OK no need for a ‘lockdown’, but for her to question the ‘science’ and deny the effectiveness of wearing a mask in public, by setting the ‘maskless’ example by of up close and personal conversations with out-of- state peoples and then traveling back to South Dakota she sent the opposite message and potentially was an asymptomatic spreader. She could have done so much more to help contain this out-of-control plague that is far, far from over. Instead her focus has been her stab at national exposure attempting to prop up the looser former POTUS and Georgian Senate candidates. Oh BTW, she wants a new airplane pronto too.

  4. 7th highest death rate in the nation is something for this hack to be proud of? This administration gets worse every day as Noem’s team of unemployed Trump-trash seem to want to swap South Dakota values for South Carolina’s.

    1. I’m scratching my head also… I think Noem has done an ok job through the pandemic but Seidel lost me when I read the article. Didn’t change my opinion on the gov though.

      Today, if we look exclusively at death rate, South Dakota still fares better than the Times’ beloved lockdown states:

      The death rate (per 100,000) as of January 27, 2021:

      New Jersey – 238
      New York – 220
      Massachusetts – 206
      Rhode Island – 201
      Mississippi – 197
      South Dakota is 7th on the list at 193.
      North Dakota is 8th on the list at 189.

      1. 34 more deaths in SD yesterday. Unbelievable.

        We are a small, rural state so how did we get this terrible death rate?

        I just checked again. If the rest of the country had our death rate, there would be 645,000 deaths from Covid. (vs. 429,000 currently)

  5. KN better get the memo that Trump lost — and with it his style of politics, which she continues to try to emulate.

  6. Governor Noem consistently informed South Dakotans of the facts and science from the very start of this pandemic and consistently trusted South Dakotans to take responsibility for their own health decisions while ensuring that South Dakotans would have the necessary access to medical care even under the dire predictions available at that time and safeguarding our economic health. While the loss of any life is abhorrent, the CCV is the culpable party here, not the Governor’s leadership. Facts have revealed that South Dakota has fared well by comparison with other states that imposed draconian shutdowns and mandates that have trampled on freedom, destroyed their businesses and left their economies dependent on federal bailout or impending massive cuts in services or huge tax increases. The exodus from so many onerous state regimes to South Dakota is undeniable evidence of the favorable judgment by freedom loving and caring Americans.

    There is no evidence that supports the ridiculous, totally unwarranted attacks Governor Noem has endured while she has led us in exemplary fashion in this pandemic. The anger manifested against her by some is misplaced and should be properly assigned to those that caused this pandemic and those that used this pandemic to erode freedom.

  7. Those wishing to open a business free of mandatory mask requirements might want to relocate to South Dakota. The elderly, health-compromised, and those hoping to avoid community spread might want to move to Vermont.

  8. Maggie and Ian are a waste of a quarter million a year.

    Can always count on them for a good word salad with cherry-picked stats with a half-baked analysis.

  9. it baffles me when they come up with the stats on the positivity rate in the testing.
    as of today 400,070 people have been tested 867,916 times and 107,795 of them were positive. No way that amounts to a greater than 50% positivity rate.
    where did they get that crazy story? is the math really that difficult?? why do they keep repeating that?

  10. South Dakota received what? Over a BILLION dollars to fight COVID?
    How much was spent in advertising inviting people to come to our state and spread COVID to us or take COVID home to their friends and families?

    Now they are asking for VOLUNTEERS to man the COVID vaccination sites?

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