South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who has constantly downplayed the novel coronavirus pandemic while refusing to even implement face mask mandates, lost her 98-year-old grandmother who was staying in a nursing home plagued by the deadly disease last month.
The Daily Beast reports that Noem's grandmother, Aldys Arnold, was "among 13 to die over a two-week period at a top-rated nursing home swept by COVID-19."
Noem's office insists that Arnold tested negative for the novel coronavirus before her death, although her cause of death has not been publicly disclosed.
The Daily Beast notes that Noem has continued to focus on encouraging people to go shopping instead of following public health guidelines even after her grandmother's death.
And while Noem did pay tribute to her late grandmother last month, she did not mention the dozen of her fellow nursing home residents who died.
"For Noem to have mentioned the dozen other dead would have raised the specter of the virus that killed them even as she was continuing to claim that she had brought it under control by invoking personal responsibility rather than mandating a vital precaution -- a face mask -- that is as simple and unimposing as wearing a seatbelt," The Daily Beast writes.