'We need leaders with grit': South Dakota Gov Kristi Noem attacks fellow GOP governors who enacted COVID mandates, accusing them of 'rewriting history'

 South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has railed against fellow GOP governors who enacted COVID-19 restrictions during the pandemic - questioning their the 'grit and instinct'. 

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas on Sunday, Noem suggested that some Republican governors were 'rewriting history' by refusing to acknowledge that they shut down states for a period of time.

'We've got Republican governors across this country pretending they didn't shut down their states; that they didn't close their regions; that they didn't mandate masks,' Noem said.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has railed against fellow GOP governors who enacted COVID-19 restrictions during the pandemic in a speech at CPAC on Sunday

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has railed against fellow GOP governors who enacted COVID-19 restrictions during the pandemic in a speech at CPAC on Sunday


'Now I'm not picking fights with Republican governors. All I'm saying is that we need leaders with grit. That their first instinct is the right instinct,' she continued.

'Demand honesty from your leaders and make sure that every one of them is willing to make the tough decisions. South Dakota did not do any of those measures. We didn't mandate. We trusted our people and it told them that personal responsibility was the best answer.'


Noem took a moment to note how she never forced a 'single business' to close attempting to draw a comparison to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott who were more restrictive in their approaches.

South Dakota's population is 880,000 compared with Florida's 21.4 million and Texas at 29 million people. 

Even at points throughout the last year when cases appeared to surge in South Dakota, Noem refused to mandate masks nor introduce any precautions that other state governors had introduced in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Noem explained her 'success' by simply swiftly identifying and isolating cases. 


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis puts his mask on during a press conference on the surge of coronavirus Covid-19 cases in Florida held last July

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis puts his mask on during a press conference on the surge of coronavirus Covid-19 cases in Florida held last July

Texas Governor Greg Abbott also had to introduce COVID-19 restrictions across Texas

Texas Governor Greg Abbott also had to introduce COVID-19 restrictions across Texas

A worker passes a sign at a restaurant along the River Walk that has reopened in Texas
Barricades and signage indicates that an area of Hallandale Beach is closed Coronavirus outbreak in Florida in May 2020

Many states brought in COVID-19 restrictions including the forced closure of businesses and even beaches

Writing in the Rapid City Journal last year, Noem stated how she rejected 'mandatory masking' noting that some questioned the effectiveness of masks and asked for each family to make 'informed decisions for themselves.'

'As I've said before, if folks want to wear a mask, they should be free to do so,' she wrote. 'Similarly, those who don't want to wear a mask shouldn't be shamed into wearing one. And government should not mandate it.'   

South Dakota's current statistics put it at 10th out of the 50 states with a rate of 230 deaths per 100,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins University data. 

The level is far lower than when the state ranked third with 14,090 cases per 100,000 of population.

Speaking at the CPAC conference in Dallas, Noem crowed how she never forced a 'single business' to close nor forced state residents to wear masks

Speaking at the CPAC conference in Dallas, Noem crowed how she never forced a 'single business' to close nor forced state residents to wear masks 

Noem, who is known for her fierce loyalty toward former President Trump, was greeted with a standing ovation at the CPAC conference on Sunday.

She campaigned aggressively to help re-elect him and said that she hopes he runs again in 2024.

'I think he'd be fantastic. He gets up every day and he fights for this country,' Noem said. 'Most people when they watched what he and his family went through would be exhausted and quit, out of discouragement. And the fact that he's still fighting is inspirational to me.' 

Noem claims not to be  at all focused on her own bid for the White House in a few years time. 

'I love South Dakota and I worked to come home to South Dakota, so I could be there and be with my people and ride horses for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy,' Noem remarked.  

'We need leaders with grit': South Dakota Gov Kristi Noem attacks fellow GOP governors who enacted COVID mandates, accusing them of 'rewriting history' 'We need leaders with grit': South Dakota Gov Kristi Noem attacks fellow GOP governors who enacted COVID mandates, accusing them of 'rewriting history' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:43 Rating: 5

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