Report: Sturgis Biker Rally Caused 250,000 New Coronavirus Cases

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“F*ck that COVID sh*t!” yelled the lead singer of the washed-up, meathead rock band Smash Mouth, last month at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. But the estimated 400,000 bikers who showed up for the 10-day event did indeed get into bed with COVID-19, as a new report ran the numbers to find that the Sturgis rally caused an estimated 250,000 new coronavirus cases,  according to Mother Jones.

According to a lengthy, 63-page study from the IZA Institute of Labor Economics, “Between August 7 and August 16, 2020, nearly 500,000 motorcycle enthusiasts converged on Sturgis, South Dakota for its annual motorcycle rally. Large crowds, coupled with minimal mask-wearing and social distancing by attendees, raised concerns that this event could serve as a COVID-19 ‘super-spreader.’”

“Using anonymized cell phone data from SafeGraph, Inc. we document that (i) smartphone pings from non-residents, and (ii) foot traffic at restaurants and bars, retail establishments, entertainment venues, hotels and campgrounds each rose substantially in the census block groups hosting Sturgis rally events,” the study says.

Authors conclude that “Adding the number of new cases due to the Rally in South Dakota estimated by synthetic control (3.6 per 1,000 population, scaled by the South Dakota population of approximately 858,000) brings the total number of cases to 266,796 or 19 percent of 1.4 million new cases of COVID-19 in the United States between August 2nd 2020 and September 2nd 2020.”

There is only one confirmed COVID-19 death from the rally, as seen above, but confirmed Sturgis cases are in the hundreds and going up every day. There are other costs, too. “These cases represent a cost of over $12.2 billion,” researchers note. “This is enough to have paid each of the estimated 462,182 rally attendees $26,553.64 not to attend.”

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Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.