Bismarck City Commissioner May Have Been Right on Vitamin D

Bismarck City Commissioner Mark Splonskowski speaks during a meeting debating a mask mandate for the City of Bismarck.

In the aftermath of a debate over a mask mandate last October, Bismarck City Commissioner Mark Splonskowski became the target of some pretty harsh criticism for comments he made about vitamin D. But does a new study suggest those critics might want to apologize?

Rather than a mask mandate, Splonskowski suggested that perhaps another approach should be taken— to recommend wearing a mask, trying to social distance, and to take vitamin D. By the response from his critics, you’d have thought Splonskowski had suggested some backroom pharmaceutical off the black market, smuggled in from the southern border. The criticism was really quite silly.

What makes their response even sillier is that these same critics seemed to speak from a holier than thou place in the COVID-19 debate— as if there’s a correlation between mask usage and number of new cases. Newsflash— there’s not.

At the time Splonskowski made his comments, there was information indicating that a large percentage of those with COVID-19 had vitamin D deficiencies. Were his comments really as irrational as his critics made them out to be?

A new study at the University of Chicago Medicine further suggests they weren’t:

“A new research study at the University of Chicago Medicine has found that when it comes to COVID-19, having vitamin D levels above those traditionally considered sufficient may lower the risk of infection, especially for Black people…

“This research is an expansion of an earlier study showing that a vitamin D deficiency (less than 20 ng/ml) may raise the risk of testing positive for COVID-19. In the current study, those results were further supported, finding that individuals with a vitamin D deficiency had a 7.2% chance of testing positive for the virus. A separate study recently found that more than 80% of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 were vitamin D deficient.”

Admittedly, research on the issue of vitamin D in relation to COVID-19 is ongoing. But does that make Splonskowski’s comments irresponsible and irrational? I’d say not anymore so than the moving of goalposts we’ve seen from the CDC over the course of the last year. In fact, Splonskowski might have made more sense, not less. After all, vitamin D is a necessity to our overall health.

If these critics were honest with us, they’d admit that their disdain for Mark Splonskowski has almost nothing to do with his comments on vitamin D. As has become typical of COVID-19, it has everything to do with politics. Of course, they’ll never acknowledge that. Nor is there an ice cube’s chance in Hell of them ever apologizing for it either.



  1. McFeely blog: Bismarck commissioner falsely pitches vitamin D as ‘scientifically proven’ way to prevent COVID deaths | INFORUM
  2. Study suggests high vitamin D levels may protect against COVID-19, especially for Black people – UChicago Medicine
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T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.