<i>Business Insider, Daily Beast </i> Politicize Death of S.D. Governor’s Grandmother

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem speaks at the Republican National Convention in Washington, DC on August 26, 2020. (RNC via Reuters)

the Daily beast and Business intern tried to turn the death of Kristi Noem’s 98-year-old grandmother in a nursing home into a political hit-job, despite the fact that the death was unrelated to COVID and the house retreat has adopted strict protocols for visitors.

“Shameful,” was the reaction of Noem’s policy director, Maggie Seidel, to National review.

Daily beast Michael Daly – who has criticized Noem in five articles since August, but has yet to cover New York’s deadly COVID nursing home policy – has attempted to juxtapose Aldys Arnold’s death with “pandemic minimization by Noem and his continued refusal to impose a statewide mask warrant. “

“South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem buried her grandmother, who was among 13 to die in two weeks, in a first-rate nursing home swept away by COVID-19 on Monday,” Daly said . bed, before clarifying that Arnold actually tested negative for the coronavirus in the second line of the article.

“Noem’s office says that 98-year-old grandmother Aldys Arnold has tested negative for the virus, although no cause of death has been given,” he explained ( Noem said in an email that Arnold “died in his sleep” (while Daly did not return a request for comment as to whether he had actually requested more information).

According to Daly, Mike Ward, the administrator of Estelline – Arnold’s former nursing home – said that “all but one” of the 13 deaths that occurred between November 14 and November 28 at the facility were “related to COVID ”, although Daly did not. clarify Ward was talking about Noem’s grandmother. In a brief phone call with National review, Ward confirmed that he told the Daily beast Arnold’s death was not due to COVID.

“They were just asking me questions and I answered questions,” he continued. “That’s it. I really haven’t really had time to read it, so I have no idea how they phrased it. So it really doesn’t make any difference to me to somehow what they put in there. I’ve never read it. No one I know reads it, and who cares.

Later in the article, Daly was forced to note that Ward did not want to make the story political, having “refused to comment on Noem’s views and policies.”

“We are doing everything we can to fight COVID and we don’t need to fight each other,” Ward told the Daily beast. He echoed the feeling of National review, despite losing three other residents in the past two days.

“They were trying to get something from Noem. But I’m not going, ”he said. “. . . We’re just doing our thing to fight the COVID virus here. It doesn’t have to be political.

Daly also noted later in the article that Estelline has strict protocols for visitors – including a mask requirement and meetings with residents “in a separate room partitioned off by plexiglass and plastic sheeting” – and Ward told him “that he believed an asymptomatic staff member brought the virus into the facility from outside.” “

“We’re certainly not trying to blame him or this house,” Seidel said. National review.

Daly’s room was then whitewashed by Business intern Journalist Kelly McLaughlin, with a headline reading, “Kristi Noem’s Grandmother Dies in Nursing Home Affected by COVID-19 as South Dakota Governor Continues to Play Down Virus.”

The coverage resembles CNN’s decision to give an interview to a South Dakota emergency room nurse last month, in which she claimed patients dying from COVID-19 refused to admit the virus was real. National review subsequently contacted several nurses and hospital administrators in the state, none of whom were able to verify the viral claim.

“No one else got this statement from a particular patient,” said Kim Rieger, spokesperson for Huron Regional Medical Center – one of the hospitals that employed the nurse in question.