About 250,000 motorcycle riders plan to deny science and expose themselves to the deadly COVID-19 virus at the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, which starts on Aug. 7.
Local psychologist Michael Fellner told The Daily Beast about the science denial:
Nobody is social distancing and none of them are wearing masks. None.
Rod Woodruff, owner of the Buffalo Chip campground and concert venue where the rally will take place, offered his anti-science response:
We’re just celebrating good old American freedom. What a release to hear the sound of Harley-Davidson engines in the campground again. Just marvelous.
Sean Donnelly, who sponsors Lingerie Fighting Championship, said the women would wear custom-designed masks, but added: “Of course, they won’t be fighting in them.”
The Sturgis Rally website has a “COVID tracker,” which links to the South Dakota Health Department site that says:
Highest risk: Large, in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from multiple areas.
The Sturgis Rally Facebook page is littered with defiance from the future coronavirus victims:
On my way I ain’t scared of the media flue or as we call it round here election flue see ya soon sd.
Just call it a big protest !! And it be A-Ok!!
You really have to look to see someone wearing a mask.
Screw COVID-19I came to Sturgis!
A survey showed that 60 percent of Sturgis residents favored canceling the rally. The Sturgis City Council responded by saying they would reduce the expected 250,000 turnout by not doing their usual advertising.
One participant toured the nearby Black Hills National Cemetery on Aug. 5, not to pick out a grave, but to pay his respects before endangering his own life.
Get the latest breaking news video clips before everyone else with our newsletter! We do not share or sell your email address with anyone.