Gov. Noem reports no new COVID-19 outbreaks in South Dakota following Trump’s Mt. Rushmore event

(Photo by Chris Elise/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Friday that there were no outbreaks in her state following President Donald Trump’s Mount Rushmore Fourth of July event.

The Republican governor is one of a few who did not shut her state down in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, and she tweeted this week “a one-size-fits-all approach to #COVID19 is herd mentality; it’s not leadership.”

According to the South Dakota Department of Health, the state has had a total of 115 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic first broke out, with 842 active cases.

Appearing Friday on “Fox & Friends,” Noem was asked by co-host Steve Doocy if there were any outbreaks after the Mount Rushmore event.

“No, actually we’re doing really good,” she responded. “We would start to see that a few days ago and we continue to decline. I think what we did here in South Dakota is really remarkable because we gave people their freedom.”


(Source: Fox News)

Touting the almost-forgotten notion of personal responsibility, she attributed the results to the state’s residents.

“We let the businesses stay open and we let people go to work and we told them to be smart, and we also asked them to be personally responsible and we’re seeing benefits of that each and every day in South Dakota,” Noem said.

After noting that the state did have some problems with meatpacking plants, Doocy pointed out that the governor was laser-focused on addressing these problems rather than shutting down the entire state.

“We did, and in fact we — according to the national experts — did everything wrong,” Noem said. “We did what the people on the ground saw. We aggressively addressed those situations, and came out better for it.”

She pointed out that trust was at the center of their success.

“I really think the people of South Dakota stepped up and they did the right thing and they trusted me,” Noem said. “I trusted them and they made the right decision.”

Doocy called attention to Noem’s participation over the weekend in the Monster Energy Team Challenge professional bull riding event.

“It was the first major indoor sporting event with fans since March. How important was it to you that you would ride in bringing the flag?” he asked.

On horseback, the governor proudly presented the American flag before the national anthem was played.

“Well that was America,” she said. “This was the first major sporting event indoors with spectators. They prayed before the event. They sang the national anthem. I was just proud to be there. This was a perfect example of what makes this country great and these people are athletes. They want to do what they are good at and it reminded all of us about how special this country is and how important our liberties are.”

As for advice to other governors,

“Trust your people. Don’t lay down mandates that are going to hinder the ability that they need to really get through this difficult time,” Noem said. “Trust them, give them the facts, let them make decisions that are right for their families.”

 

Tom Tillison

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