We’ve written before about how Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has carefully balanced Constitutional liberty with public health concerns in her approach to managing the Wuhan virus pandemic in South Dakota.
Her approach has frequently put her at odds with the “lockdown” types in the media/on the left who prefer governors manage their states the way failed Democrat governors like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and California Gov. Gavin Newsom have “managed” theirs. Understandably, she’s also been a fierce defender of attacks both on her state and and her when need be.
Another thing Noem’s Democrat/media critics keep pushing for her to do is to implement a mask mandate for the state. She has resisted such calls – which has resulted in more predictable mask-shaming from the Usual Suspects.
But in a press conference yesterday, she gave the perfect answer as to why she hasn’t and won’t institute one for South Dakotans, explaining that while she has no problem with people wearing masks and wearing one herself, she’s left it up to “personal responsibility” over the past year, relying on citizens to make their own decisions about what they felt was best for them and their families.
She said her position isn’t based on being anti-mask but that she doesn’t feel it’s appropriate for the government to mandate masks nor does she find it right for people to engage in mask-shaming against people who opt not to wear one:
“Well, the CDC has changed their recommendations many, many times. In fact, we’ve seen the CDC change their recommendations based on political pressure in the past. I choose to rely on science and data and facts. And, masks can work in certain situations if you’re wearing the right kind and you’re doing it appropriately.
“But, I’m not going to mandate it. It’s not an argument over whether masks work or if they don’t work. I’ve never argued that. What I argue is the mandate. I think the mandate is inappropriate, for government to come in and mandate that somebody wear a mask.
“And, I think it’s inappropriate for us to shame people who choose not to wear a mask. That’s not what America’s about and it’s not what South Dakota’s about.”
Watch Noem give great responses to the reporter who asked her at least three times about a mask mandate in a one minute time span during the Thursday press conference:
There won't be a double mask mandate in South Dakota. pic.twitter.com/rXqi9eXt0W
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) February 18, 2021
A look at the coronavirus case numbers in South Dakota lends credence to Noem’s claims that the way the state has responded to the pandemic has been the right approach, contrary to persistent claims made by so-called fact-checkers in the media:
— Tony Heller (@Tony__Heller) February 19, 2021
Though all the charts and graphics in the world won’t change the minds of her critics in the left-wing media, it’s refreshing to see Gov. Noem continue to stand her ground and to set the record straight before and after the inevitable hit pieces get filed.