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S. Dakota’s governor explains why she refused to close her state

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In contrast to the “draconian measures” some states have taken in response to the COVID-19 shutdown, South Dakota and a few other states with Republican governors stand out as an example of having faith in people to do the right thing.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who has taken a lot of heat from the left, to include the media, for keeping her state open, appeared Monday on Fox News’ “Hannity”  to explain her decision making.

“I just believe in our people,” Noem explained. “They know and understand personal responsibilities, so I didn’t mandate that any businesses close. I just told people the facts and the science behind this virus, what we were dealing with, and asked them to take seriously the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines and to continue to innovate.”

 

Personal responsibility being a conservative principle that doesn’t sell too well in Democratic precincts.

The governor noted that South Dakotans have set a good example for the nation.

“I gave them the opportunity to still provide for their customers while protecting their employees and our businesses stepped up, our people stepped up, they made the right decisions,” Noem said. “I think it really is an example for the nation.”

As Fox News host Sean Hannity pointed out, even restaurants in South Dakota stayed open, as he then talked about what he’d like to see happen in New York City, which is where he is located.

“I’d like to see Yankee Stadium open,” Hannity said. “If I had a choice to stay home or wear gloves and a mask, I’d rather wear the mask and gloves and go to a game.”

“New York City is definitely not South Dakota,” Noem said. “We have some parts of our state that are pretty sparse and people are spread out so it’s a little easier to social distance here.”

She then fell back on another conservative tenet, the concept of personal liberty.

“But we do have some pretty populated areas as well,” the governor continued. “And when given the opportunity to let people utilize their liberties and freedoms that this country gives them, they do the right thing when it comes to protecting their families and their communities.”

“We gave them the opportunity to do that and they overwhelmingly did,” she noted. “We are in a really good spot as a state.”

South Dakota has had 1,635 confirmed cases of coronvirus, with just seven deaths.

There was one issue in the state with a Smithfield pork processing plant, where more than 800 employees contracted COVID-19.

Located in Sioux Falls, the massive facility that employed 3,700 people has been shut down.

The governor told Hannity that the infected workers have been isolated.

“We are aggressively over-testing in the area and identifying those positives and we are getting that county and city under control,” she said. “We’ve got some rough days ahead of us, but we are in a way better spot than most of the country. And we’re in a way better spot than we thought we would be.”

Coming full circle, Noem credited the people in her state for making the right choices — a concept that supports the belief that people live up, or down, to the expectations placed upon them.

“It’s because the people stepped up and really did the right thing,” Noem said. So I am incredibly proud of the people of our state. I trusted them and they’re coming through every day for me.”

Tom Tillison

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