By The Dissociated Press
According to a story filed by KELO.com’s Todd David Epp, Governor Krispie Gnome Wednesday afternoon barred media and the public from a meeting with her and South Dakota lawmakers regarding the coronavirus.
The meeting was for the governor and legislators only. Members of the press, interns, and staff were asked to leave.
Governor Gnome said yesterday she wanted the media out of the room so the lawmakers could speak candidly and ask candid questions about the coronavirus, the story said.
Today, the Dissociated Press was able to learn more about what happened in the closed meeting. And it wasn’t just talk of fears and asking questions.
Honking and laughing could be heard coming from the meeting room by reporters and staff members standing outside in the hallway. As the legislators filed out, each carried one or two large shopping bags. None were willing to speak to any of the reporters assembled except for saying they were working hard to address the virus that has infected eight South Dakotans so far.
Governor Gnome was also closed-mouthed about the meeting, but did say she may have some news to report this weekend about the state’s efforts to address people’s fears and the need to get citizens tested, no matter what Washington was doing about the problem.
Fortunately, a legislative intern was able to hide inside the meeting disguised as a young-looking lawmaker, and take some photos with his cell phone camera and give them to the DP. The intern also shared some details about what else was discussed in the closed-door session. This included the governor’s proposed law change regarding improving Rushmore State’s citizens ability to socially distance in the relatively near future and a possible solution to the dearth of coronavirus testing kits in the state.
But perhaps the most shocking action to come out of Wednesday’s meeting was the lawmakers getting their own, custom-designed biohazard coverings. As seen in the photo, the outfits were all quite colorful and included special nose protectors, a heavy colored paint-like substance to cover their faces, and colorful hair, hand, and feet coverings.
Some legislators – probably committee chairs – were given special bicycle horns so they could organize and herd the other lawmakers in different directions, the intern said. The governor had her own specially-designed outfit, as well, made by one of her aunts in Beadle County.
It’s definitely a sign that Gov. Gnome and the legislature are taking the coronavirus seriously.
[Voice mail messages were left on the governor’s phone, but neither she nor staff had returned any calls as of Thursday at 6:45 p.m. CDT.]