Over 200 infections so far have been traced to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota in August.
South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem said on Wednesday that reporting on an outbreak of the coronavirus following the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was an attempt to "destroy" her state.
Noem supported holding the rally in August despite the threat of virus transmission at such a crowded event.
As of Wednesday, South Dakota has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases per capita in the United States.
A recent report by the IZA Institute of Labor Economics in Bonn, Germany, determined that the cases generated by the gathering of nearly 500,000 motorcyclists will result in over $12 billion in public health costs.
Officials have traced 260 infections and at least one death to the rally, with attendees taking the virus back with them to other states.
From the Sept. 9 edition of Fox News' "Fox & Friends":
GOV. KRISTI NOEM: We're taking the virus seriously, but we're also recognizing that there's consequences to what we've seen happen in other states, that shutting down businesses, stopping people's way of life has some devastating impacts on them and their ability to put food on the table for their families.
So we've taken a very balanced approach in South Dakota. I know the media hates it, I know they're going to continue to come after me and my decision-making, they're going to continue to try to destroy South Dakota for what we have done and the path that we've taken, but I still believe that in our state it has worked out for our people and that they appreciate it.
They appreciate the fact that I trusted them, and we have the strongest economy in the nation today.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.