During a White House COVID-19 briefing with the National Governors Association on Monday, President Biden was confronted by GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
"But we also, as governors, are getting pressure to do more, and the need is great to do more in terms of the rapid tests and the availability of it," Hutchinson said to Biden. "And so, one word of concern or encouragement for your team is that as the — as you look towards federal solutions that will help alleviate the challenge, make sure that we do not let federal solutions stand in the way of state solutions. The production of 500 million rapid tests that will be distributed by the federal government is great, but, obviously, that dries up the supply chain for the solutions that we might offer as governor."
Biden responded by admitting, "Look, there is no federal solution. This gets solved at a state level."
Noem seized on the president's own words, which she viewed as a self-own on Biden's part. On Tuesday, Noem mocked Biden over his comments and called on him to retract federal COVID-19 mandates.
"After a year, we finally agree @potus. The federal government isn’t the solution," Noem wrote on Twitter. "That’s why from the start, SD took a different approach by trusting our citizens to be responsible and make the right decisions for themselves & their families. Now rescind all the federal mandates."
During a Wednesday appearance on "Fox & Friends," Noem said, "That's interesting to me that the president is so bold in saying that there is no federal solution yet continuing to impose mandates on the country."
Noem highlighted the effort of Republican governors and attorney generals to rescind the federal COVID-19 mandates.
"And the fact is that he doesn’t have the authority to put these mandates in place," Noem proclaimed. "That’s why South Dakota and many other states and governors and attorney generals have challenged the federal government on this authority in court. That will be heard here in January, and we’ll win. We’ll win because this president has taken unprecedented action to impose on the liberties and freedoms of the American people. And sometimes, the only ones that are left to fight are the governors."
"It's so important that [people] have a beacon of hope," the Republican governor continued. "Actions that we've taken here [in South Dakota] has shown people that when you do protect those freedoms and those liberties, that it really does create more opportunities and a better future for the people that live under that kind of environment."
"Really, the thing that they’re doing the most is imposing restrictions and requirements on us," Noem said of the federal government. "They need to back off. We really need to be able to take care of our people. We’ve shown that we do it the best," she added.
"That’s why South Dakota has got the number one economy in the country," Noem claimed. "We’re getting through this together. We’ve got historic revenues and businesses and people relocating to our state, and it’s because people respect the freedom that they can get here for their children and their grandchildren and know that it will be protected.”
During a Wednesday night appearance on "Hannity," Noem doubled down on resisting Biden's federal COVID mandates.
"I'm thrilled that President Biden is finally agreeing with me," Noem quipped. "We have asked him to back off of these mandates. We have told him and now we're suing him in court."
"Frankly, the federal government doesn't have the authority to take these types of actions, by requiring people to get vaccinated for their job or to receive federal funding, or if they want to have a contract with the federal government, or even participate in Head Start contracts," she said. "So we are suing him in court and those will be heard within a week in the Supreme Court. We're looking forward to those being heard because we'll win, and I think the president does know that he's under a shaky ground here."
Noem demanded that President Biden give the governors "flexibility" in their pandemic strategies. "Let us use personal responsibility, trust our people to make the right decisions," she said.
In September, Noem vowed to fight President Biden's federal vaccination mandate.
"South Dakota will stand up to defend freedom. @JoeBiden see you in court," Noem wrote on Twitter. "My legal team is standing by ready to file our lawsuit the minute @joebiden files his unconstitutional rule. This gross example of federal intrusion will not stand."
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