I am in Florida where we are afflicted with DeSantis. Ever since last summer I have felt like DeSantis is having a contest with Brian Kemp to see which of them could be the worst governor when it comes to pandemic policy.
Both Kemp and DeSantis did their best to undercut efforts by local officials to encourage or, heaven forbid require, the use of masks. Both were in favor of saving money on unemployment benefits by requiring “essential” workers in places like bars, nail salons and gyms to work even when infection levels were high. Both were in favor of cramming kids into schools where masks were optional. Both Kemp and DeSantis also appear to have resorted to dubious reporting practices to hide the real numbers of infections and fatalities.
Despite their best homicidal efforts to be the worst governors, Kemp and Desantis have so far been outdone by Kristi Noem of South Dakota. More than one out of every 500 people in South Dakota have died of Covid-19 so far. In addition to her many other pro-virus policies she thought it was a good idea to have a huge motorcycle rally last summer. Bikers from all over the country traveled to Sturgis to exchange virus-laden exhalations.
Gov. Noem insists that the biker rally was not a problem but she does not let facts interfere with her opinions. The CDC published a paper that documents 86 cases of Covid-19 in Minnesota that resulted from transmission of the virus during the motorcycle rally in South Dakota. Researchers identified 51 people who caught the virus during the rally and showed that they gave the virus to 35 more people. The researchers sequenced the whole genomes of the viruses in these patients to show that they had the same strain of the virus as a biker. Bikers from other states doubtless spread Covid-19 across the country in other states just as the bikers spread it in Minnesota.
Greg Abbott in Texas seems to want to make sure that a puny state like South Dakota does not get ahead of Texas. He has decided to try to spread the virus as much as possible before enough people are vaccinated to slow down the epidemic. The next few months may be his last chance to exterminate a greater percentage of the citizens in his state than Kristi Noem managed in South Dakota.
I just announced Texas is OPEN 100%.
I also ended the statewide mask mandate.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 2, 2021
Abbot knows that most people in Texas have not yet gotten the vaccine. His website said:
During his remarks, the Governor discussed the incredible advancements that Texas has made that allow the state to open fully and lift the mask mandate—noting the rapid increase of vaccines. Nearly 5.7 million vaccine shots have been administered to Texans, and the state is now administering almost one million shots each week. By next Wednesday, about 7 million shots will have been administered in Texas and over half of seniors in Texas will have received a vaccine shot. By the end of March, every senior who wants a vaccine should be able to get one. The vaccine supply continues to increase so rapidly that more and more Texans will soon be eligible to receive a vaccine.
Texas has a population of about 29 million people. Most people in Texas have not had a chance to get even one dose of the vaccine yet. It takes at least five to six weeks after the first dose of an mRNA vaccine for someone to have full immunity. Apparently Gov. Abbott wants to take this last chance of decreasing the surplus population before everyone gets a chance to be vaccinated.
Please feel free to add other nominees for Worst Governor — Coronavirus edition. Some of you may live in states with incompetent and/or sociopathic governors that are just as terrible as these four. The rest of you can feel free to share your views on which governor is the worst and what makes them the most terrible.