Grieving son tells South Dakota Gov. Noem she 'lost another vote for president in 2024' over her handling of COVID-19

Grieving son tells South Dakota Gov. Noem she 'lost another vote for president in 2024' over her handling of COVID-19
U.S. Department of Agriculture/Wikimedia Commons

A son in mourning opted to share his grievances with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) after his father became yet another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to The Daily Beast, Mike Sliper, son of Robert Sliper, penned a letter to the Republican governor following his 84-year-old father's death to COVID-19. He announced his father's death as he noted Noem "lost yet another vote for president in 2024." Although Noem has repeatedly said she bases her COVID-19 decisions on hospital capacity as opposed to the rise in cases, Sliper highlighted the problem with her approach which appears to downplay the pandemic.

"So, what's my point in telling you all of this about someone you've never met? Well, I'm one of those that believe you didn't have to lose his vote quite yet. He believed in you. He listened to you. He followed your lead. Some of my family, including myself, moved to Colorado at some point then returned to South Dakota to settle down. I tell you this because my dad too went to CO before returning home. Except he went on a Life Flight plane due to COVID.

Sliper recalled how his family witnessed the grim side of COVID-19 when his father had to be airlifted to a hospital two states away from home due to hospital capacity being reached in South Dakota. But as families throughout the state are faced with few options to combat the coronavirus, Sliper noted that a "Noem for Governor" website is already selling $35.00 t-shirts that read, "Less COVID More Hunting." He argued her stance, once again, appears to be an attempt to boost her own popularity on the backs of those suffering.

"While I admire your tenacity in recruiting businesses and constituents to come to SD, I think it is abhorrent that you are doing it on the backs of South Dakotans dying from COVID. Selling t-shirts? Really?" he asked.

Sliper went on to criticize Noem's opposition toward incorporating a statewide mask mandate.

"I believe in Freedom for all, but I understand that to remain civilized we do need some rules. I feel that Freedom does not come without some sacrifice," Sliper explained. "I also do not believe we need a total shutdown, although if that is what it takes, I will abide. I believe that if we all make a little sacrifice, so many South Dakotans won't have to make the ultimate sacrifice. I also believe that sometimes Leadership means telling those you are responsible for that we have to change our lives a little for the short term to preserve the lives and livelihoods of friends and family for the long term. And I know it is possible to reduce our risk."

As of Tuesday, Dec. 8, South Dakota has reported a total of 86,500 coronavirus cases. The state has a 49.7% COVID positivity rate, one of the highest in the world.

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