After South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order Monday offering guidance to communities, businesses, health care providers and others on how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, leaders in Yankton and Vermillion wasted little time in responding.

A couple hours before its regular meeting on Monday night — but shortly after Noem announced that she signed the executive order —  the Yankton City Commission called for a special meeting Tuesday to discuss the COVID-19 situation.

The Vermillion City Council also scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday afternoon.

Yankton’s special meeting considered some of the recommendations of its newly formed health board, whose members were announced Monday night. Those recommendations included strict controls on public gatherings, with restaurants and bars possibly being closed to sit-down traffic or being permitted reduced occupancy. Judging from the online reactions and questions during the livestreamed meeting, the work of the commission is difficult, sometimes unpopular but very necessary.

During Monday’s Yankton City Commission meeting, there seemed to be an underlying frustration at times in getting clear guidance from higher-ups.

Commissioner Amy Miner seemed the most blunt about it.

“There is a hunger for leadership,” she said during a meeting that was held remotely via a digital network. “People are looking to leaders to say, ‘This is what we need to do.’ There’s a lot of mixed messaging happening at the federal level, there’s some mixed messaging happening at the state level and I feel like we are left, as a municipality, to make a decision that’s right for Yankton. I don’t think we can look to anyone. I think we have to look to ourselves and listen to our constituents.”

Indeed, there seem to be varying degrees of hesitancy in some quarters about what to do.

For instance, Noem has done a generally decent job guiding the state through this crisis, but she at times hasn’t been particularly forceful in unveiling her directives. When she initially announced the closure of the state’s schools for one week, she couched it almost like a request, and that left some differing opinions about whether it was an order or an option. And when she announced Monday that she signed an executive order, that’s all she said initially without touching on the details, which subsequently came out in a press release and through reporter questioning. Also, leaving it up to the local communities to make the calls doesn’t bolster the kind of unifying, coordinated vibe that local leaders and state residents really need right now.

As for the federal message, while health professionals are offering experienced guidance, President Trump’s apparent souring on social distancing practices in favor of boosting economic cheer is worrying, especially given what we’ve seen in places like Italy. It sends a bad signal to those who might be tempted to discard wiser professional advice, and the consequences could be destructive.

Miner is correct: We need concise leadership, and for now, local governments have to do the job.

That’s what Yankton and Vermillion are doing, and so too is Sioux Falls, where officials reportedly may take things even further by proposing the closure of all non-essential businesses.

In these cases, that’s what leadership in a health crisis looks like: Bold action that could literally help local medical professionals deal with what may be coming — and even save lives.


(8) comments



Might as well look for a few laughs.

Polls show that Republicans take the coronavirus much less seriously than Democrats.

So here is a new conspiracy theory.

The right wing has been expert at “owning the Libs” with their exaggerations or outright lies. The intention is - not to persuade - but to instead goad “liberal snowflakes” into paroxysms of pointless righteous indignation.

This new conspiracy turns this paradigm on its head. It goes like this:

The libs and the leftist media are exaggerating the very real threat of the coronavirus. Not because it isn’t true, but because they know Trumpsters will dismiss it and continue to shake hands and gather closely in groups as modeled by the Donald himself.

As Trumpsters get sick and die, the prospects for a Democratic sweep in November improve.

Not saying it’s true, but you first heard it here.


"As Trumpsters get sick and die, the prospects for a Democratic sweep in November improve." NOT funny. Joking about people dying as a benefit to a political stance is crossing the line between humor and sickness.


No, not really funny at all, Kate. But the truth is that polls show Republicans are far less likely to believe the threat is real.

The “line between humor and sickness” is accepting the scientific facts about that sickness.

Trumpsters don’t believe in science, but they do believe in conspiracies. So rumour or not - this can only help keep the Republican casualty list shorter than it would be. Not all conspiracy theories are so benign - wouldn’t you agree?


Hate and discontent, unfortunately the new norm for the democratic party. Just read the posts here and on other sites, democrats are the ones that spew this yet they call themselves the "party of the people". Even in a time of crisis like what we are going through now, they can't pause for a few moments.

Jolly Roger

Hi, VoiceforAll, I see this is your first post. Welcome.

It’s easy to be “discontented” when our President rejected multiple warnings that this pandemic was coming and even sat in his hands while we watched the struggles of China and others. And now thousands will die because of his incompetence. The CDC says it could mean 200,000 to 1,700,000 dead Americans. Yup. That makes me a little discontented.

But, hey, at least we finally beat China at something thanks to his leadership. The U.S. Now Has More Known Cases of the Virus Than Any Other Country!

Come on Trumpsters join in the AMERICA FIRST chant!

USA! USA! USA! We’re number one! We’re number one! We’re number one!


Hi, VoiceforAll. I haven’t noticed your comments before this. Did you just start watching the news?

How tender are the feelings of Trumpsters when they think someone beside their dear leader is spewing hate and discontent.

Only they can watch him on TV and be blind to his thousands of lies, his name-calling and pathetic whining laments that he’s not appreciated enough for his great work.

Such inspirational leadership as he faces the biggest challenge of his incompetent Presidency! Keep up with the news, and watch the body count, my friend.

Come back to us in a month and tell us how well he’s done.

Larry Skow

Jolly Rancher an all the anti trumpsters. Lets stop an think. Was trump trying to calm a nation? Maybe so. BUT Show me or anyone proof positive any DEMOCRATE sounded any alarm! Pelosi/Biden/Bernie/Schiff any of them they are all in to loop--they see all this data EVERYDAY it is given to them! Schiff is HEAD OF INTELLIGENCE COMMITEE! Diane Feinstein evidently took action she dumped a lot of stock--as did other Democrats/Republicans high ranking members. Stop an think! Mass panic would of ensued. Runs on grocery store still un going. There is evidence an getting stronger this may of escaped from Chinas level 4 Biowarfare lab. Right in Wuhan. SARS that floated around escaped twice! All the data is out there people. China has long wanted a offensive biowarfare tool. W.H.O knows exactly what is going on. They have people in that lab! 24/7/365! You really think China is our "friend"? They can't even come close to feeding the population. That why they been buying farm land in Russia/Europe/USA. A Harvard professor an 3 Chinese nationals were arrested yesterday for stealing biological research material. Arrested leaving the country by plane. INTERESTING development there. So to all you anti Trumpsters--HOW COME NO DEMOCRAT SOUNDED ANY ALARM? They sure could of. By the way all you anti Trumpsters feel free to send your Stimulus check back to IRS.

Larry Skow

To all anti Trumpsters. Ok maybe he missed read the signs. Did Italy/Spain/UK/Iran/France/Germany/Canada/Hillery/Pelosi/Shiff/Feinstein/Biden/Obama/Bernie/Warren/Bloomberg/any Governor of any state? Did any of these countries or political hacks raise any kind of alarm?

DID CHINA RAISE ANY ALARM TO THE WORLD. As simple as we got a problem an it is BAD! How do you stock pile supplies for something we don't know about? Did you know USA at that time had a HIGH Rating of 83.5% disaster readiness? Highest of any country in the world! No one can stand at 100% 100% of the time. Look it up! Why didn't the ventilator manufactors have them in stock. Why didn't mask an gown makers have warehouses full? Products made an in storage is MONEY! WHY DIDN"T ANY DEMOCRATS RAISE THE ALARM? THEY SEE THE INTELLEGENCE REPORTS! Schiff is lead dog there! Gather your facts before opening yap. Now then all you anti Trumpsters please return the money coming your way. Don't drag a man down then take his money or help. Start serving cheese with your whine!

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