GOP governors in spiking states strain for silver linings

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By ANDREW DeMILLO Associated Press

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 have hit their highest points recently throughout the Midwest, where the growth in new cases has been the worst in the nation.

But that’s not the message coming from a number of Republican governors in the region, who are working to find silver linings in the ominous health data as outbreaks surge in their states.

“In South Dakota, we didn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach and the results have been incredible,” Gov. Kristi Noem told lawmakers in her state, which Johns Hopkins University says ranks second in the country for new cases per capita.

Oklahoma’s governor has been effusively upbeat about progress against the virus, despite what figures compiled by public health experts and a White House task force show. North Dakota’s governor has called his state’s test positivity rate an achievement, even though its rate of new cases tops the nation.

The rhetoric in some cases is mirroring that of President Donald Trump, who continues to downplay the virus’ risk even after being hospitalized with COVID-19. And it’s worrying public health experts concerned about a flu season that may exacerbate the outbreak’s…


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