UPDATE: Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken should be doing more to encourage vaccination

UPDATE: Actually, when you think about it, giving people $100 for two shots would NOT be a handout. Technically two shots cost us $90 as Federal taxpayers, so you could look at it as a tax refund on the vaccination and NOT a handout.

While I somewhat agree with the premise that we shouldn’t have to pay people to take a FREE vaccine, there is much more the city and the mayor could do to encourage vaccination;

“While we want those who have not been vaccinated to step up to the plate and get their shot, I think we can trust people to make their own health care decisions without the need for a government handout,” TenHaken said in a statement sent to the Argus Leader.

This is certainly an interesting statement about government handouts considering this;

South Dakota has received more than $2 billion in federal stimulus since the start of the pandemic, with more than $50 million of that funneled to the city of Sioux Falls. 

So instead of incentivizing people with a Bennie, the city has spent most of this money on paying off bonds, building parks and other NON-RELATED covid expenses. I have even thought that how they spent some of this money was against Federal mandates.

Like I said, setting the precedent of giving people money to get a FREE vaccine would NOT be good, and I disagree with Biden on this, but the city already set a bad precedent by spending Covid money on things un-related to Covid which I think is far more nefarious.

They could have spent just 10% of the money and plastered this town with billboards, media PSA’s and print ads telling people why the vaccine is safe and should be taken. The billboards could show people dying on a ventilators, they could point out that 99.4% of all people getting hospitalized or dying of Covid are unvaccinated, or more importantly they could be telling people that the science and technology behind mNRA has been studied for around 30 years!!!! The only thing experimental about the vaccination is that it hasn’t had long term clinical trials, which I will admit does cause some anxiety, but the science has been around a long time.

Also, instead of the $100 incentive the city could also spend the money on workforce development, affordable housing, and public transportation. They could also put residents who have already been vaccinated and those willing to get it (2nd shot) to enter a city lottery where we could give out FREE community development grants to do needed repairs to their homes.

There are many ways to get creative with vaccination promotion.

The city should also have a vaccination clinic that runs Monday-Friday at Falls Community Health. Maybe they do, but I have not heard of it.

Let’s face it, the quickest way to get back to normal and turn around the economy is if herd immunity can be achieved, that is why Noem and TenHaken’s rank hypocrisy astonishes me. I agree people have the right to refuse the vaccination, but you have a duty as elected officials, with billions in your coffers from Federal taxpayers to educate people on the importance of this.

I ask Kristi and Paul the simple question I ask many conservatives who chose personally to get the vaccination. Didn’t you get it for the safety of your own health, your family’s health and the health of your community? They usually answer yes. Then why wouldn’t you encourage others? It’s mind boggling.


#1 Warren Phear on 07.31.21 at 1:28 pm

They don’t like any notion of handouts, unless of course it is to themselves.

#2 Very Stable Genius on 07.31.21 at 8:01 pm

It’s called Republican ambitions. They either fear a Republican primary someday, or want to prevent a fellow Republican opponent from using the mask and/or vaccine issues in such a given political battle.

A true libertarian will say that people always die and with Republican leadership, during a pandemic especially, they will.

Noem and ThuneHaken are not pro-life. They are pro-self-posturing at the expense of others.

Our mayor said he didn’t sign up for this. Yes he did. Our governor? Well, it’s nothing but life on a saddle for her.

#3 Erica on 08.01.21 at 12:21 am

Those who want to get the vaccine are already WELL aware it exist and know how to go get one by now. The city/Govt shouldn’t be wasting any more $ with promoting it at this point.

#4 l3wis on 08.01.21 at 10:24 am

This isn’t about wasting new money, this is about spending the money we had to educate people, we blew it on non-related covid things. Trust me, people can still be convinced. I know several people who just got their first shot on Friday even though they were eligible back in May. The reason they finally got it was chiding from others. This isn’t about your individual health anymore, this is about everyone’s health.

#5 Mike Lee Zitterich on 08.01.21 at 3:41 pm

I have not gotten the shot, and people have ridiculed me, the more they come at me, the harder I fight back. I have not gotten a vaccine or flu shot in more than 40 years, I feel there is no need for it, I am rarely sick, and even when I got sick last winter, I simply did what I always did, I used pain killers, asperin, and vitamins to fight the symptoms. There are more like me who feel as I do, “WE” do not need someone telling us waht to do.

Mayor TenHaken has it right, DO NOT force people todo what they do not want to do, but allow for those who do, to do.

Government should not waste any money on this any longer, we need better roads, parks, transportation, we need to improve our infrastructure, and provide good police, fire, and rescue, let the people be.

#6 l3wis on 08.01.21 at 3:57 pm

So are you going to tell Paul to return the $50 Million in Federal Covid money?

#7 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 08.01.21 at 4:15 pm

I hope you don’t get shingles. AspIrin won’t be enough.

I used to never get the flu shot because I preferred to call in sick, than work.

I can’t wait until they come out with an anti-aging vaccine, then I can just sit back and watch all of the dumb asses fall over.

#8 Erica on 08.01.21 at 6:37 pm

Yes, l3wis, because we never should have received covid $ in the first place.

#9 Stu Pidasso on 08.01.21 at 7:26 pm

Mike, I’m sure that is not the only reason people have ridiculed you. Blocked anyone on FB lately?

#10 Warren Phear on 08.02.21 at 8:44 am

Erica, the power players in SF have gotten tens of millions of covid relief dollars in the form of PPP. Will you ask that these dollars be returned also?


#11 anominous on 08.02.21 at 12:18 pm

I think PTH should put the old version of the covid dashboard back up on the site so we can track the delta activity. The one with the graphs, just remove that stupid best fit line this time.

#12 anominous on 08.02.21 at 12:22 pm

Oh wait nevermind, here it is:


Good job everyone

#13 Mike Lee Zitterich on 08.02.21 at 12:32 pm

Scott, the covid money taken by the city was never designed to help people directly, it like the PP Funds to businesses, was to provide the “City” money to replaced lost tax dollars so the city can maintain its revenue. Now, like Erica – I did not believe we should have taken the money period, our revenues did decrease since we remained open for business. What did we actually lose for revenue? Hardly nothing …

#14 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 08.02.21 at 1:11 pm

Take the money and run. There are good times and bad ones.

#15 Erica on 08.03.21 at 1:09 am

Warren, what part of “we never should have received covid $ in the first place.” do you not understand? Not ONE person, nor company/org.

#16 Warren Phear on 08.03.21 at 9:09 am

If anyone is curious about tenhakuns stance on anything covid, look at his pic in this mornings Argus. This is who he takes his covid daily briefings from. God help us all if Delta finds its way to SF.

#17 Mike Lee Zitterich on 08.04.21 at 3:49 pm

Why is it so important for you to force people to do something that they may or may not want to do?

#18 l3wis on 08.04.21 at 4:01 pm

Encouraging and educating people about vaccinations is NOT forcing, it’s asking. I have followed politics since I have been in HS and I have never seen vaccinations politicized. But that is what you get when you let a dumb f’ck run the country for 4 years

#19 Erica on 08.04.21 at 6:06 pm

l3wis, Do you honestly believe that there isn’t one person in this city, let alone this country, that already isn’t well aware of covid, the vaccine, and who hasn’t already weighed their own risk vs reward on taking the vaccine or not? You are in the mindset that if everyone doesn’t share YOUR stance that it must mean that they are not educated. (â—”_â—”)

#20 l3wis on 08.04.21 at 7:20 pm

No, I don’t think people are properly educated, because if they were we would have well over 80% vaccinated.

#21 Mike Lee Zitterich on 08.04.21 at 8:10 pm

Perhaps, those Anti-Vaxers are highly educated in what the side effects to the vaccine are and refuse to take the vaccine. Two sides to the story, there are experts on both sides that recommend and push policies. Democrats always think they got all the truths and answers.

#22 l3wis on 08.04.21 at 9:23 pm

First off, I haven’t been a registered Dem for over 20 years, secondly, I’m wondering what your ride with Michael J Fox was like in the DeLorean Time Machine into the future. Nobody knows the long term effects of the vaccine, but those who have had reactions probably should not have taken it to begin with due to underlying health conditions. Choosing to believe or not to believe in something is NOT science, it’s just stubborness. The benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the cons. Science has already shown this.

#23 Very Stable Genius on 08.05.21 at 12:47 pm

Erica and Mike are demonstrating classical examples of the selfishness of the conservative mean, which is often attempted to be masked by a conjured up and convenient self-justifyng libertarian whim.

( and Woodstock adds: “Say, why do libertarians stop for STOP signs?”…. “I thought they believed that people die”…. )

#24 Mike Lee Zitterich on 08.05.21 at 1:16 pm

In the ‘words’ of South Dakota Constitution:

“We, the people of South Dakota, grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious liberties, in order to form a more perfect and independent government, establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and preserve to ourselves and to our posterity the blessings of liberty, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the state of South Dakota.” – Preamble

“Inherent rights. All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring and protecting property and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” – 1st Bil of Right “reserved” to the People under Article 6

— The U.S Constitution protects the South Dakota Constitution:

Article 4, Section 3 – The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.

9th Amendment –> The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

AS AMEROICANS ‘we’ have inalienable rights that are protected by the 9th Amendment, and those “rights” are whatever the people agree those rights shall be, NO Government can strip them of those rights.

–> “WE” have the right to reserve to our selves the right to NOT get the vaccine, while YOU shall have the right to avoid me or any other person who you believe may place you at risk of disease, sickness, or whom may damage your property.

The 10th Amendment allows the STATE (the People) to enforce these rights, and ‘we’ have codified in our state constitution the preservation of no less than 28 Bill of Rights that government cannot take away from us.

We are “Sovereign People” whom collectively ‘act’ as American Citizens of the Great State of South Dakota.

#25 Further Fear & Loathing on 08.05.21 at 4:03 pm

There he goes with that “collectively” word again. Didn’t JEB! warns us against collectivists?

But I do agree that some do “‘act'” as American citizens. In fact, some even act as “patriots” or “tourists”, when they are merely insurrectionists and/or domestic terrorists.

#26 Erica on 08.05.21 at 9:57 pm

VSG, since when is it against the law to be seen as “selfish” in another’s eyes? You just consider those who wont take YOUR stance as being selfish when others on the other side can say the same about you & others who think like you. You would prefer I risk my own health in order to make you FEEL safer. Well, guess what, I sure as HELL will not.

I trust the immune system my Heavenly Father provided to me much greater than any propaganda being pushed about this vaccine. If that makes me selfish in your eyes, so be it. Doesnt bother me one iota.