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North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum 

Gov. Doug Burgum, has been one of the nation’s leading mask mandate deniers.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum put his state at risk through COVID-19 denial. (Photo: Govt)
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum put his state at risk through COVID-19 denial. (Photo: Govt)

He could get way with it when the state appeared to have dodged the worst of the pandemic. But it was only a matter of time before state residents started getting mowed down.

Per capita, North Dakota has the most new coronavirus cases and deaths over the past seven days of any US state, and is second in new hospitalizations only to South Dakota.

Needless to say, the state’s hospital system was quickly overwhelmed. Burgum was forced to ask infected health care workers to continue working in hospital COVID units as long as they are asymptomatic.

With the virus running rampant, Burgum finally issued public health rules requiring residents to wear masks indoor and limit indoor gatherings. 

“Right now, the data demands a higher level of mitigation efforts to reverse these dangerous trends, to slow the spread of this virus and to avoid the need for economic shutdowns,” Burgum said in a video message.

But the governor has exempted religious services from his mask mandate, even though they are a leading source of several major outbreaks. 

North Dakota’s situation is a clear case of too little to late. But failing to react to the virus immediately, Burgum needlessly put state residents at risk. 

Officials have confirmed 1,312 fatalities, the fourth highest per capita at about 172 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the tracking project.

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