When NBC News reported about the declining COVID-19 numbers in the Dakotas, we were a bit surprised. Let’s be honest here. Most of the mainstream media outlets do not like to give any credit to the red states if they can possibly help it. The numbers may have been in their favor for months now but they were never going to admit that.
The fall surge was tough to endure, for sure. From there, the Dakotas have watched their numbers trend downward and they are now at the head of the pack when it comes to vaccine distribution. Instead of offering plenty of praise for Doug Burgum and Kristi Noem, the article quickly descends into the usual Republican bashing.
The states have made tremendous progress but we can’t give them credit without offering a few insults, too. That’s just the way it goes when it comes to the mainstream media. The success that they are having is “tenuous” at best, according to them. Their big concerns are focused on the “politicization of infection prevention measures.”
“Unlike states that had soaring case counts early in the pandemic, neither North Dakota nor South Dakota ever issued stay-at-home orders. Mask mandates, if they came, came late. Yet numbers in both states have come down significantly since the late fall peak, and the Dakotas have emerged as national leaders in vaccine distribution — both are closing in on 5 percent of their total populations’ being fully vaccinated, putting them in the top five in the country,” NBC News shared.
So what’s the problem? If you take the time to read the rest of the piece, they are worried about a potential second surge. While both states experienced a surge after the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August, their numbers have remained low in the following months. The media experts who want far-reaching government mandates are going to have a lot of explaining to do now.
New York and California are two of the states that focused most heavily on government mandates and draconian procedures. They posted some of the worst numbers throughout the course of the pandemic. These states may have enforced mask-wearing policies and encouraged social distancing but they are now lagging behind when it comes to vaccine deployment.
So how do we reconcile these facts? Those who are less charitable about these matters could say that the government mandates simply weren’t very effective. There’s no way that anyone can safely say that these measures were not helpful at all. Humans have no inherent resistance to the virus so it was always going to spread, no matter what we did.
Of course, there are others who are going to point out some obvious facts that work in these states’ favor. Low population density plus a diminished tourism industry equals fewer cases. Florida, California, and New York are all tourist hubs that cannot control who comes in and who goes out. If someone decides to pack up and drive to one of these states for a trip, what can be done?
The Dakotas have a low population and are relatively stagnant from a movement standpoint. Put it this way: if a small town has a few infections, their rates are going to skyrocket. If the same small town goes a few months without any infections, people will assume that they have beaten COVID-19. These are the factors that need to be considered when the success of the Dakotas is discussed.
Kristi Noem and Doug Burgum have accomplished a lot but it is time to put their achievements in proper perspective. Federal control is not always the cure-all in situations like these if you will excuse the pun. These governors got the job done and they did not place too many restrictions on their residents. Every region of the country has to come up with the plan that is going to work best for their needs.