What Are You Waiting For Governor? Commissioners? Mayors?

The science and mathematics of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic are clear. Continued hesitation right now, in this moment, will cost more lives. 

People in all but five states are living under partial or statewide shelter-in-place orders. Why not North Dakota?

Right now is the time to keep people in their homes with shelter-in-place orders to slow the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19. U.S. citizens have heard this message over and over and over again from scientific and medical experts in communicable diseases.

The New York Times reports that, “…at least 311 million people in at least 41 states, three counties, eight cities, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are being urged to stay home.

As of today (April 3, 2020), the only states without restrictions in at least a part of them are Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and, of course, my state of North Dakota.

Why? What are mayors, county commissioners and governors waiting for?

Dakota Do-Nothings

Last week, I wrote a letter to N.D. Gov. Doug Burgum, asking him to issue a statewide, mandatory shelter-in-place order. I provided a version of that letter for download, customization and use by anyone and everyone.

Nothing from him so far. He and his counterpart to the south seem to be taking the same do-nothing approach.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is telling her constituents that it’s “everyone’s personal responsibility to take the right actions.”

There are many problems with that view and approach, but here’s the biggie:

Sadly – and I’d say stupidly – too many people will not voluntarily do what we need them to do. People are out spreading the virus to each other. One person gives it to two, each of those give it to two more, each of those four give it to two more…

See where that’s headed?

Every time one person with coronavirus interacts with others, s/he is the cause of dozens, perhaps hundreds and maybe even thousands of infections.

The whole “personal responsibility” thing isn’t working, and it won’t moving forward. That’s just the way it is.

COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place. Now.

I sent a similar letter to the mayor of my city, Fargo, N.D., yesterday. Mayor Tim Mahoney got back to me within minutes saying, “We are moving in this direction.”

I urge Mayor Mahoney and other city officials to move quickly. “Immediately” would be good.

In a press conference a couple of days ago, Mahoney asked people, especially young people, to take shelter-in-place recommendations more seriously. Burgum, during his own news conference yesterday, also referring to social-distancing guidelines, bemoaned the fact that “some people are not taking this seriously.”

Well, folks, there is a serious solution readily at hand  –

Issue mandatory shelter-in-place orders. Do it now.

Coming Soon to a Home Near You

This hits close to home. In my letter to Burgum, I included this –

My wife is a registered nurse on the front lines. She is working directly with coronavirus and COVID-19 patients in a Special Care Unit in Fargo. She puts her life on the line every day she steps onto the unit, as do her fellow nurses, doctors and support staff. People who do not social distance put the lives of these healthcare heroes on the line, as well.

However, it’s not just about me and my spouse of 25 years. It’s about everyone in Fargo, North Dakota and throughout the United States. With the latest information from scientists, infection and death in all our homes are literally just a breath away.

I do not believe I was overdramatic in my letters to both men when I said that right now, in this very moment, they have an opportunity to save lives, to slow the spread of coronavirus and limit the number of deaths from COVID-19.

But they must act. The science and mathematics of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic are clear.

Hesitation right now, in this moment, will cost lives.


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Featured graphic – underlying map by the New York Times, question mark guy by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay. 



Coronavirus Shelter-in-Place Request: Customizable Letter to Mayors & Governors

Our leaders need to do everything in their power to to slow the spread of coronavirus. Now.

Use this letter to ask your mayor and governor to issue mandatory shelter-in-place orders to slow the coronavirus & COVID-19 pandemic

I recently sent letters to my city’s mayor and my state’s governor asking them to issue mandatory shelter-in-place orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. I hope you will, too.

I’ve included a link for a downloadable and customizable version of the following letter at the bottom of this post. Please download it, edit it in whatever way you see fit and send it to your mayor and the governor of your state as soon as possible. Remember to include your contact information.

Fargo, N.D. residents, send your letter to Mayor Tim Mahoney using this form, or call him at 701-241-1310. If you’re in another U.S. city, search your city’s website for contact information.

North Dakota citizens can contact Gov. Doug Burgum directly through the online contact form, or email his constituent service representative, Shelley Haugen, at skhaugen@nd.gov. If you’re from another state, find your governor’s contact information here.

Here’s the letter:

Continue reading “Coronavirus Shelter-in-Place Request: Customizable Letter to Mayors & Governors”

Senator Cramer Issues ‘Non-Apology Apology’ for Pelosi Tweet

The junior senator from North Dakota needs to make this as right as possible with a real apology.

That’s just not good enough, Kev.

Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., has once again embarrassed the citizens of the state he is supposed to represent.

Yesterday Cramer tweeted about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. “She’s retarded,” he wrote in reply to a post by Daily Caller about Pelosi’s comments regarding COVID-19 relief bills.

Screenshot of offensive tweet by Sen. Kevin Cramer about Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Today – in the spirit of the Nixon White House responding to a Washington Post story about the Watergate scandal, a response that Editor Ben Bradlee famously called a “non-denial denial” – Cramer issued a “non-apology apology.”

The Ol’ DC Two-Step

Cramer behaved no better than Nixon and his communications staff in blaming the tweet on fumbling fingers and autocorrect, saying he was attempting to tweet, “She’s ridiculous.”

He must think people are either terribly stupid or incredibly gullible.

We’re not.

Try misspelling “ridiculous” in as many ways as possible. Your autocorrect will not substitute in “retarded.” It’s simply not possible. I just tried it myself. Instead of seeing autocorrect default to “retarded,” it gave me an opportunity to learn a new word. In case you were wondering, “reticulated” means “netted,” or “covered with a network.” Who knew?

Back to Cramer….

What was it Forrest Gump’s mama always used to say? Ah, yes, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Unfortunately, the news media is calling his “non-apology apology” an actual apology, which it most certainly is not. The headline from U.S. News is typical:

“US Sen. Cramer Apologizes for Offensive Term About Pelosi”

That is not accurate.

Image of Sen Kevin Cramer AP Photo Jose Luis Magana
Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. Associated Press photo by Jose Luis Magan

Non-Apology Apology

What he said was, “I’m really sorry it happened.”

Well, heck, I’m sure he is really sorry it happened. News outlets all of the nation have been carrying the story and he comes off as an insensitive, distasteful person to say the least. I’d go so far as to say he’s made himself look like an imbecile. Apply your own judgement.

Regardless, I’m willing to bet there are a lot of people around the country who are wondering how this man ever became a U.S. senator. Let me tell you what I believe, non-North Dakotans:  if this state wasn’t so doggone deep red, he wouldn’t have had even an inkling of a chance.

Regardless, what he said was a non-apology apology, and it’s not adequate. What he needs to say is, “I apologize TO SPEAKER PELOSI for using such an offensive word to describe her.”


So easy, in fact, that the vast majority of us learned how to make a proper apology before we started kindergarten.

Obligatory, as well.

Cramer also needs to apologize to everyone else on the planet for using the pejorative term at all. He needs to say, “I’m also sorry for using the term itself to describe anyone, due to its infamous history as a pejorative term used to describe people with mental and physical disabilities.”

What he’s said is simply not good enough. What he’s said is an embarrassment to North Dakotans who voted for him (I am not one). What he’s said insults the intelligence of every thinking person, regardless of whether they agree they’ve been insulted.

Finally, he needs to stop insulting our intelligence. Drop the “ridiculous” charade and own up to what he Tweeted rather than trying to blame it on technology.

Inasmuch as anything like this can be made right, Cramer needs to make this right with a real apology. He owes it to Speaker Pelosi, to the office she holds, the citizens of the nation and, last but not least, the people of North Dakota.

But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Cramer, like most kindergarteners and former Watergate operatives, probably believes he can keep quiet by holding his longer, anyway.


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Featured image:  Associated Press photo by Jose Luis Magana

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Trading on Insider Information is Illegal, Sen. Hoeven

The Securities and Exchange Commission needs to investigate and call bullshit on the load of crap North Dakota’s senior senator is trying to sling.

You’re Busted, Senator!

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and he’s trying to tell us that since his digits haven’t quite curled around a treat yet, he’s done nothing wrong.

We call B.S.

According to a story first reported on CNBC, Hoeven purchased stock in the BlackRock Health Sciences Trust II fund five days after receiving a briefing on the coronavirus. After that same briefing, several of his colleagues sold off shares of stock, presumably in anticipation of the market taking a nosedive due to the crisis that was coming. As they’d just been told by “health and State Department officials.”

As The Hill reported, “According to financial disclosure forms, Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) each sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in stocks within days of the Senate holding a classified briefing on Jan. 24 with Trump administration officials on the threat of the coronavirus outbreak.”

Since he hasn’t avoided the loss of millions, like his colleagues, Hoeven’s still flying a bit under the radar. But that certainly doesn’t me he’s done nothing wrong.

On the contrary….

Continue reading “Trading on Insider Information is Illegal, Sen. Hoeven”

Coronavirus Pandemic – What Are Our Leaders Waiting For?

Will and Ben knew what they were talking about. Too bad they aren’t talking to government leaders about the coronavirus pandemic.

Government Responses to COVID-19 Spread Defy Logic

* Editors Note, March 16, 2020 – Hours after IV Words published this post on March 15, N.D. Gov. Doug Burgum announced statewide school closures due to coronavirus. By that time, every state around us – Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota – had already announced closings. Fargo Public Schools sent announcements to students and parents shortly thereafter. As of today, about 30 states have shuttered schools for the purposes of social distancing in the hope of at least slowing the spread of the virus.

“Discretion is the better part of valor” is a bit of wisdom based on a line from Shakespeare’s “King Henry the Fourth, Part One.”

“Caution is preferable to rash bravery,” Falstaff said in the play.

Another way of saying it these days is “Prudence is the better part of valor.” Either way, the old saying means it’s “wise to be careful and avoid unnecessary risks.”

Seems to me too many people are OK with taking unnecessary risks with the coronavirus pandemic right now.

Continue reading “Coronavirus Pandemic – What Are Our Leaders Waiting For?”

Trump Blows Off Coronavirus… Until It Threatens Wall Street.

It took a threat to something President Donald J. Trump actually values to elicit a response to the novel coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. Hint: it wasn’t the wellbeing of the citizenry.

The Donald’s True Colors

Could this be the week supporters of President Donald J. Trump finally wake up and see his true colors?

As late as Monday, March 9, Trump was trying to push off the threat of coronavirus, suggesting, for the millionth time, that it’s a “hoax.”

“President Trump in an early morning tweet on Monday accused the ‘Fake News Media’ and Democrats of trying ‘to inflame’ the coronavirus outbreak as the virus spreads globally and across the U.S.,” The Hill reported Monday morning.

Yet, by the end of that day, Trump was behind the podium, announcing his administration’s “response” to the worldwide outbreak of novel coronavirus. It came at the end of the worst day Wall Street has seen in more than a decade.

Continue reading “Trump Blows Off Coronavirus… Until It Threatens Wall Street.”