Omitting Cuomo Scandals, CBS Gets Combative With Noem on COVID

CBS News major programs were trying really hard to avoid telling viewers about all of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) unfolding scandals, whether it was his multiple sexual harassment allegations or his abysmal handling of COVID and nursing homes. Meanwhile, Face the Nation moderator Margaret Brennan singled out Republican Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota to be the target of her ire because of her fair handling of COVID in her state.

In an interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci earlier in the program, Brennan mischaracterized Noem’s CPAC speech and whined about people cheering. “Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota delivered a speech to a conservative conference yesterday, and she touted her decisions – she got a standing ovation when she said she ignored the medical advice of experts, and specifically you,” she huffed.

Brennan also played his edited clip of Noem’s speech:

NOEM: We never focused on the case numbers. Instead, we kept our eye on hospital capacity. Now, Dr. Fauci, he told me on my worst day I’d have 10,000 patients in the hospital. On our worst day, we had a little over 600. Now – [Transition] I don’t know if you agree with me, but Dr. Fauci is wrong a lot.

When Noem finally appeared on the show, she wasted no time in schooling Brennan on her lies. “Well, I’d like to respond to something that you said. You indicated I ignored medical advice, I didn’t listen to my health experts. And I most certainly did,” she shot back. “In South Dakota, we took this virus very seriously. What I did though was tell my people the truth.”

Decrying how Noem refused to destroy small businesses and harm students with isolation via lockdowns, Brennan tried to distort reality by citing the state’s deaths per capita. “As of today, the CDC says your state has the eighth-highest death rate per capita in the U.S. That’s the rate of deaths per 100,000 residents. Don’t you think your decisions as an executive contributed,” she sneered at her guest.

 

 

Looking at the numbers according to The New York Times, South Dakota had less than 2,000 deaths from COVID. And only seven on Saturday.

Even as Noem was sticking to the facts by explaining how the state had peaked back in November, with no Christmas or New Year’s spikes, Brennan continued to shout at her about the per capita death rate (Click “expand”):

NOEM: You know, South Dakota’s infection rate peaked earlier than a lot of other places in the country. So, we’re definitely on the downward trend, and earlier and peaked earlier than what you’re seeing happen across the country as well. You can talk about masks. We can talk about mitigation measures, all of that —

BRENNAN (Shouting over her guest): These were CDC numbers as of today. And it was the death rate.

NOEM: — that would tell people that what they had to do. I want people to make those decisions for themselves. And we’ve seen the CDC change recommendations over and over and over again. In fact, we’ve seen them do it just based on political pressure. We follow the science, the data, and the facts in South Dakota to make our decisions and it’s been incredibly helpful to make sure we’re taking care of people who need it when they get sick.

“I was asking you about the death rate as of today according to the CDC, not the infection rate, which you’re talking about,” Brennan chided.

At one point, Brennan accused her of being personally responsible for seeding nearly every case in the Midwest, as if it couldn’t have come from anyplace else:

There is a $12 billion price tag that has been pegged to the impact of and fallout from that Sturgis motorcycle that you hosted in your state in august. It is blamed for seeding the entire Midwest outbreak that hit and that late summer through the fall. Do you take personal responsibility for that?

Back in reality, we know that New York had seeded most of the country as residents fled the state because of the lockdowns. And COVID deaths in New York nursing homes (roughly 15,000) greatly overshadowed the deaths in all of South Dakota. That’s not to mention that New York also spawned a new virus variant that’s worrying researchers.

CBS’s refusal to hold Governor Cuomo accountable and mischaracterizations of Governor Noem were made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Mr. Clean and Oral-B. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased new they’re funding.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CBS’s Face the Nation
February 28, 2021
10:39:51 a,m. Eastern

(…)

MARGARET BRENNAN: I’m going to ask you, Dr. Fauci, about something one of our upcoming guests said. Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota delivered a speech to a conservative conference yesterday, and she touted her decisions – she got a standing ovation when she said she ignored the medical advice of experts, and specifically you.

[Cuts to video]

GOV. KRISTI NOEM (R-SD): We never focused on the case numbers. Instead, we kept our eye on hospital capacity. Now, Dr. Fauci, he told me on my worst day I’d have 10,000 patients in the hospital. On our worst day, we had a little over 600. Now – [Transition] I don’t know if you agree with me, but Dr. Fauci is wrong a lot.

(…)

10:43:43 a.m. Eastern

BRENNAN: We just heard from Dr. Fauci who said it is too early to peel back health restrictions – do things like not have mask mandates. And I know you don’t have one in your state. How do you want to respond to him?

NOEM: Well, I’d like to respond to something that you said. You indicated I ignored medical advice, I didn’t listen to my health experts. And I most certainly did. In South Dakota, we took this virus very seriously. What I did though was tell my people the truth. I gave them personal responsibility over decisions for their family’s public health, but also gave them the flexibility they needed to keep their businesses open, take care of their employees and their customers.

So, I really do believe that as this virus has spread throughout this country, people needed that flexibility. And South Dakota is doing well. We’ve had some tragic situations, but I know that respecting them and my role and the authority I have as governor has been incredibly helpful to get our state through this challenging time.

BRENNAN: Well, we played that clip from your speech. And in that speech, you also said you never instituted a mask order, shut any churches or businesses, or even defined why an essential business is. As of today, the CDC says your state has the eighth-highest death rate per capita in the U.S. That’s the rate of deaths per 100,000 residents. Don’t you think your decisions as an executive contributed?

NOEM: You know, South Dakota’s infection rate peaked earlier than a lot of other places in the country. So, we’re definitely on the downward trend, and earlier and peaked earlier than what you’re seeing happen across the country as well. You can talk about masks. We can talk about mitigation measures, all of that —

BRENNAN (Shouting over her guest): These were CDC numbers as of today. And it was the death rate.

NOEM: — that would tell people that what they had to do. I want people to make those decisions for themselves. And we’ve seen the CDC change recommendations over and over and over again. In fact, we’ve seen them do it just based on political pressure. We follow the science, the data, and the facts in South Dakota to make our decisions and it’s been incredibly helpful to make sure we’re taking care of people who need it when they get sick.

BRENNAN: I was asking you about the death rate as of today according to the CDC, not the infection rate, which you’re talking about.

(…)

BRENNAN: There is a $12 billion price tag that has been pegged to the impact of and fallout from that Sturgis motorcycle that you hosted in your state in august. It is blamed for seeding the entire Midwest outbreak that hit and that late summer through the fall. Do you take personal responsibility for that?

(…)

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