SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Days after the football championships wrapped up, people are still debating how much Governor Kristi Noem wore a mask at the DakotaDome.
The question first came up during an interview with a nurse practitioner earlier this week.
“I’m from Pierre. I could die about the last week.. the Dome, all the getting together– there wasn’t a mask worn in that entire celebration, including by the governor. The messaging is atrocious. It’s a slap in the face,” nurse practioner Jess Lomheim said.
The governor’s office shared this picture with us, showing the Governor wearing a mask at the dome. Yesterday, Governor Noem responded.
“I did wear a mask at the USD Dome and people there will tell you I did the entire time until a group of young boys asked me to take a picture without a mask on. But I do follow the Board of Regents policies and I do wear a mask when it’s appropriate,” Noem said in the press conference.
Not long after Noem’s comment aired on KELOLAND News, viewers sent us more pictures showing the governor at the dome. While one does show her standing with a group of boys, some of the others appear to be taken in different parts of the building.
KELOLAND News reached out to Governor Noem’s office to ask about the above pictures. The governor’s communications director Ian Fury said, “again, the Governor acknowledged yesterday that she had her mask off briefly. In second photo, you can clear see one of the boys she took a photo with walking away (right side of the frame, he’s wearing a red hoodie.)”
Another picture was taken near the entrance.
“As for the photo of her standing near the entrance, Governor Noem had left her mask in the car and was waiting while the First Gentleman, Bryon Noem, went to get it,” Fury said in a statement.
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