According to KOTA News in Rapid city South Dakota - A white paper released by four economic professors with the IZA Institue of Labor Economics that said the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was a superspreader event, leading to a national spike in COVID-19 cases that cost billions in healthcare dollars, is being disputed in South Dakota.

The study showed , according to USA TODAY - study by a California research group estimates that the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota led to more than 260,000 coronavirus cases in the month following the event. 

But South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem thinks that the Tuesday morning press meeting was not accurate.

“This report isn’t science; it’s fiction. Under the guise of academic research, this report is nothing short of an attack on those who exercised their personal freedom to attend Sturgis,” Governor Noem said in a press release. "Predictably, some in the media breathlessly report on this nonpeer-reviewed model, built on incredibly faulty assumptions that do not reflect the actual facts and data here in South Dakota."

The study was conducted by SafeGraph, Inc. They used “smartphone pings from nonresidents” along with “foot traffic at restaurants and bars, retail establishments and entertainment venues, hotels and campgrounds each rose substantially.”

But a study by the city of Sturgis shows something different. (FROM KOTA TV)The City of Sturgis conducted mass COVID testing for its citizens after the 80th annual Motorcycle Rally. A total of 650 people took advantage of the free testing, with 26 people testing positive for COVID-19. All of them were asymptomatic at the time of testing. Sturgis city manager Daniel Ainslie says the rate of confirmed cases is lower than what many people anticipated.

Governor Noem points out, “At one point, academic modeling also told us that South Dakota would have 10,000 COVID patients in the hospital at our peak. Today, we have less than 70. I look forward to good journalists, credible academics, and honest citizens repudiating this nonsense," 

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