Gov. Kristi Noem, the Republican governor of South Dakota, is resisting national pressure to follow a majority of other states by implementing a statewide shutdown in response to COVID-19, according to the Daily Wire.
Only seven states have not issued stay-at-home orders: Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
What did she say? "Our Constitution ensures that the citizen's right is protected," Noem said last week. "I agree with the role of our government as set forth in our state and in our national Constitution. I took an oath to uphold these constitutions. My role with respect to public safety is something I take very seriously.
"The people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety," Noem said. "They are the ones that are entrusted with expansive freedoms – they are free to exercise their rights to work, worship, and play – or to stay at home, or to conduct social distancing. The calls to apply a one-size-fits all approach to this problem in South Dakota is herd mentality, not leadership."
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What's the status of COVID-19 in South Dakota? As of Monday, South Dakota had 288 confirmed cases of coronavirus and four deaths.
Are they doing anything? While Noem doesn't want to issue an executive order to keep people in their homes, she has encouraged the social distancing and personal hygiene measures endorsed by public health experts. Noem doesn't believe the same approach that is necessary in a place with a dense population like New York City necessarily must apply to a state like South Dakota.
"On the foundation of my principles, commonsense conservative values, and the principles we hold dear in America, the facts, the science, and the data will guide our decision-making here in South Dakota," Noem said.