LEADERSHIP: Governor Bucks Pressure — Becomes First To Launch Clinical Trials

Written by Steve Pauwels on April 17, 2020

Once again, it looks like it has taken an intrepid lady to buck the male-dominated status quo — and offer an alternative to the way everyone else says things ought to be done.

The Blaze‘s Phil Shiver reports South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem

announced plans to launch a statewide trial Monday to formally test the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine — the anti-malaria drug touted by President Trump — against the novel coronavirus. The action makes South Dakota the first state in the nation to implement a trial to test the drug’s effectiveness in treating and preventing COVID-19.

The first part of the trial, according to the Washington Examiners Madison Dibble, will focus on those already infected with the malady, administering the treatment to them to determine if it, as claimed, mitigates the virus’ ill-effects. Part two will address those exposed to the coronavirus, including persons on the “front lines” (medical professionals, etc.) and family members of those infected. The objective will be to confirm if the alleged “wonder-drug” can stymie the virus before it afflicts this cohort.

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Using terms exhibiting a spirit that might benefit some of United States other, mostly male, governors, South Dakota’s Republican Chief avowed, “We’re going on offense to help every single person deal with this virus and be willing to fight it and get better and go home to their families.” These aren’t just blustery words, mind you, but a pledge presently backed up by this hydroxychloroquine experiment — a decisive, measurable attempt to unearth a solution to this health peril which is threatening not only her state — but the nation.

How refreshing is that? Especially after weeks of watching too many of Noem’s corner-office colleagues countrywide whimper, twist their hankies and bandy anemic platitudes in the face of this pandemic?

Moreover, Dibbles adds, this gutsy guv’s jurisdiction is “one of the few states without a stay-at-home order.”

Noem has elected to part ways with the wildebeest herd of her peers who hysterically decided to lock down their respective domains, throw the kill switch on whole economies, and urge their constituents to scurry frenziedly home, slam their doors and assume the fetal position until the Wuhan storm passes. Embracing the bang-you-over-head obvious axiom that a “one size fits all” protocol may not be the way to deal with Covid-19 nationally, she’s resisted public policy peer pressure which has been demanding lockdown lock-step, ramrodding through shutdowns and quarantines just about everywhere else in the “land of the free”.

South Dakota is not New York,” she has commonsensically observed. Nor is Sioux Falls Detroit nor Rapid City Los Angeles.

And up till the present, she’s commendably resisted any urge to tap into any Andrew Cuomo vibe or attempt her best Gavin Newsom impersonation. Now, with this statewide hydroxychloroquine initiative, the forty-eight- year-old Noem is further cutting against the pandemic-and-panic grain.

““The people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety,” she has asserted, defending her response thus far. “They are the ones that are entrusted with expansive freedoms.”

People ultimately “responsible” for their “safety” and “freedoms”? Imagine someone in high places actually uttering such statements in 2020. Not all that long ago, most folks would have shrugged their shoulders and nodded a “Well, of course…” at those kinds of self-evident sentiments. Nowadays? A Midwestern governor proffers them and it’s headline news.

CBS News quotes her: “What we are doing each and every day by getting up and using personal responsibility and taking actions at the local and state level, it is working. We are flattening our curve in South Dakota.”

Americans who value liberty and economic prosperity, ought to be rooting for Kristi Noem. As cases of coronavirus spike in the Mount Rushmore State – mostly in one county where an outbreak has occurred in a pork processing plant – who knows how long her fortitude will hold on or her strategy will hold up against the squeeze of the pestilence police. Maybe the hydroxychloroquine gambit will take off some of the heat; maybe not.

Come what may, for the moment? She stands a hero to some of us; and might remain one when this scourge passes and the mob is once more able to evaluate things with a bit of level-headed comprehensiveness.

Steve Pauwels is pastor of Church of the King, Londonderry, NH and host of Striker Radio with Steve Pauwels on the Red State Talk Radio Network. He's also husband to the lovely Maureen and proud father of three fine sons: Mike, Sam and Jake.