Debunking The Media(D) Claim That The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Was A COVID ‘Super-Spreading Event’

Written by K. Walker on September 10, 2020

The Media(D) and medical “experts” said that massive BLM protests were just fine, but now they’re claiming the Sturgis Biker Rally spread COVID.

A white paper that was published by IZA Institute of Labor Economics claims that the motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota is a “super-spreading event” that could have spread COVID-19 to the tune of 250,000 new cases. That’s roughly 19% of new cases in the entire United States. According to the paper, this would result in an estimated cost of $12.2 billion to public health.

This news was jumped on by the Media(D) and they were breathlessly reporting it.

The Hill went all-in and said that Sturgis “was” a super-spreading event “that cost” public health $12.2 billion.

NBC News was a bit more careful tweeting that the rally “may” have caused a quarter of a million new COVID cases.

Leftwing publication, Mother Jones, stated that the new study shows that “over 250,000 coronavirus cases have now been tied to the 10-day event.”

Yeah, that’s not what the facts say in this case.

Scott Gottlieb, a medical “expert” who also happens to be CNBC contributor, said that the “current epidemic in South Dakota” was “triggered by Sturgis event.” Then he uses the cagey “if confirmed” phrase relating to Sturgis being a super spreading event.

He could’ve just tweeted out, “Big if true!” It’s that little word in the middle that makes all of the difference.

Gottlieb was fact-checked on Twitter by another doctor who is not beholden to a media corp.

The Washington Post reported on September 2 that there was one death that has been traced back to Sturgis. A Minnesota man in his 60s “had underlying conditions and was hospitalized in intensive care after returning from the rally,” according to WaPo. His was the lone death despite 400,000 motorcycle enthusiasts who made their way to Sturgis for the 10-day rally.

While every death is tragic, the reported “spike” in COVID cases seems to be more of a molehill and not the mountain that the press has reported.

Now, just over two weeks after the conclusion of the rally, the Midwest and the Dakotas in particular are seeing a spike in coronavirus cases even as infections decline or plateau in the rest of the country. South Dakota’s seven-day averages for new cases stood at 347 on Sept. 2 compared to 107 two weeks earlier and its total caseload was 14,003, up from 10,566, according to The Post’s tracking. In North Dakota, the seven-day averages for new cases was 257, up from 142 two weeks earlier and its total caseload was 12,267, compared to 8,968.

The rally is not solely to blame; besides the fallout from Sturgis, Ehresmann and other health officials attribute much of the increase in the Midwest to people not following public health guidelines, not wearing masks and attending social gatherings such as weddings and funerals.
Source: Washington Post

Here’s the thing–the entire paper by IZA is based on speculation. They used anonymous cellphone data to track movements from those who were in Sturgis for the rally and then presumed that any spike in cases in their region was resulting from the rally.

The data doesn’t seem to confirm this, and neither do several South Dakota officials including the state epidemiologist and the Governor. They note that other things have also happened in South Dakota like–schools reopening.

Governor Kristi Noem said, “This report isn’t science; it’s fiction. Under the guise of academic research, this report is nothing short of an attack on those who exercised their personal freedom to attend Sturgis.”

However, South Dakota Health officials dismissed the 63-page report from IZA in today’s state COVID-19 media briefing. Gov. Kristi Noem has also chimed in and disagreed with the report.

“From what we know the results do not align with what we know,” state epidemiologist Joshua Clayton said.

He mentioned that a white paper isn’t peer-reviewed. And pointed out the paper doesn’t note schools in the state also reopened close after the Rally ended, which could have attributed to the surge of cases in South Dakota.

Addressing costs, Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said they want to “better understand the source they are using” to come up with the $12.2 billion healthcare total.

Additionally, she says people “shouldn’t put too much stock into models” and that using cell phone pings to project COVID-19 cases isn’t an accurate correlation.
Source: KOTA TV

Models have been working like gangbusters during the pandemic, haven’t they?

Let’s say it together, Media(D): “Correlation does not equal causation.”

Maybe it’s not so much “the people” that hate facts and science as it is the Media(D) and the activists trying to push a particular narrative.

It’s very telling that they’ve done this big study on Sturgis, but haven’t done something similar on the 100+ nights of protests in Portland, or the massive BLM protests that were going on day after day in major cities for months.

Where would we be as a country if we had an honest media that reported facts instead of partisans pushing a particular narrative?

We’d be less divided.

Congrats to the Media for fomenting division while railing against it!

How the heck can they look themselves in the mirror?!

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ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll