How the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Triggered Spread of Coronavirus

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is an event where motorcyclists and motorcycle enthusiasts ride into Sturgis, South Dakota to participate in various activities and shows. At the Rally in 2020, the vast majority of the participants did not wear masks or practice social distancing, perhaps because President Trump and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, many would say, downplayed the risk of contracting and spreading the novel coronavirus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally became a coronavirus super spreader event. In fact, 33% of counties in the neighboring state of Minnesota, had a minimum of one coronavirus case linked to the rally. These were people who either attended and worked at the rally. The IZA Institute of Labor Economics had a much greater number of COVID-19 infections reported. They claimed that approximately 266,796 coronavirus cases were connected to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Governor Noem quickly dismissed this report and said it was “grossly misleading.” Four months after the Rally, South Dakota has become one of the biggest hotspots for the novel coronavirus in the country