Dollar Store Sarah Palin, a.k.a. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, has collected another dubious honor. Her state is now the home of the largest COVID-19 cluster in the nation, at Smithfield Foods.
Eighty of South Dakota’s 180 new COVID-19 cases are Smithfield Foods employees, bringing the total to 518 Smithfield employees who have tested positive. There are also now 126 total cases of non-employees that became infected when they came into contact with a Smithfield employee, according to the South Dakota Department of Health.
The 518 employees and 126 non-employees connected to Smithfield makes it the largest cluster in the country (644), according to tracking by the New York Times. The previous top cluster was 585 cases aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in Guam.
This is the tip of the Titanic-sized iceberg in the close-knit communities where a lot of plant workers live. Kristi is taking a cue from Trump and defending herself on Twitter, arguing that a stay-at-home order wouldn’t have prevented the Smithfield cluster. No, it would have taken prompt, imaginative government action, which, for someone as useless and Kristi, is like saying your kid’s hamster should start solving differential equations. She just can’t do it, my friends.
By the way, since it wouldn’t have helped Smithfield, Kristi’s still refusing to issue a stay-at-home order, so it looks like the mayor of Sioux Falls is going to issue one for the town. Welcome to life in a red state if your governor is a Trump humper.