Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem played the COVID-19 crisis exactly right by properly balancing health concerns with economic viability. It was a textbook example of proper leadership. Here, she explains her highly successful strategy via FNC.
Noem: “On March 10, 2020, South Dakota diagnosed our first cases of COVID-19. Tragically, that day also marked our first death in what would be a long fight against the virus. When that day came, we were prepared. Our Department of Health had been monitoring the situation since January and had stood up our Emergency Operation Center a month before the virus reached our state. I was briefed frequently by our health experts, and I passed the science, facts, and data of the virus onto my constituents, just like every governor did.
But in some ways, I took these conversations a step further. I met with lawyers and constitutional experts to better understand the authorities that I had – and those that I did not have. I asked business owners what the impact of various policy decisions would be on their livelihoods.
And then I made the decision that South Dakota would not shut down our state. I advised people to take common-sense precautions against this common enemy. But I did not order South Dakotans to shelter in place. I never mandated masks. And South Dakota was the only state in America to never order a single business or church to close.” As opposed to the federal response last year, was was misguided, and state responses, which ranged from nanny state to authoritarian, Noem got it right by keeping her head and focusing on freedom.
“COVID didn’t crush the economy. Government crushed the economy,” said Noem.#SouthDakota Gov. @KristiNoem says that government-imposed #Lockdowns were to blame for the economic crash in 2020, not the #Pandemic. https://t.co/3l2luRJdcX
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) March 2, 2021
“These things matter, even during a global pandemic. When families can afford to put food on the table, many of the other difficulties of life fall into place. By keeping our state open, we gave families and individuals the flexibilities to respond to life’s difficulties without restrictive government policies to get in the way.” An emphasis on people, not politics. That’s why she’s a rising star in the party.
“One year into our fight against COVID-19, South Dakota has some very promising items to report. We’re a leader in COVID vaccinations. And our state budget is in phenomenal shape, allowing us to make one-time investments that will set our state up for decades of success moving forward. Through it all, we have remained steadfast in our commitment to fight the virus while allowing the flexibility for families and small businesses to grow and thrive. That’s how we’ve approached this virus since day one, and it’s how we will continue to face challenges for as long as I am governor of this great state.” Her undoubted success on Covid propels her to the top rank of 2024 contenders if she chooses to run.