While the number of positive COVID-19 tests has steadily dropped over the last few weeks, during that same time South Dakota has led the nation for COVID-19 deaths per capita according to Johns Hopkins. Yet, over the weekend, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem continued to build her national political profile, talking to reporters in other states, but not here at home.
As COVID-19 deaths have risen in South Dakota, we haven’t heard from Governor Noem in this state. Her last news conference was on November 18th. However, she has been talking with media in other states and making several appearances.
Gov. Kristi Noem delivered the keynote speech at a veterans’ benefit in Texas last Wednesday. She was also presented with the Lee Greenwood Patriot Award at a gala on December 2nd.
A couple of days later, Gov. Noem carried in the flag at the National Finals Rodeo in Arlington, Texas.
“The choice for Georgians is very clear,” SD Gov. Kristi Noem said.
Then on Sunday, Governor Noem was in Georgia where she spoke on behalf of Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, following the Senate Debate between Loeffler and the Democratic candidate, Rev. Raphael Warnock.
Watch the full conference below: (video courtesy GPB and Atlanta Press Club)
The question before Georgians tonight is what do you want Georgia to look like? There is no mother in this country that wants to raise her children in Portland and Seattle or New York City right now and that’s because of the consequences of democratic leadership,” Gov. Noem said.
When questioned about whether or not Gov. Noem would agree that Joe Biden had won the presidential election, she said this:
“You know the votes are still being counted. There’s litigation that is still out there,” Gov. Noem said.
When asked about some Republicans’ mistrust of the elections process, following President Trump’s allegations that the election was rigged, Noem said they should vote anyway.
Reporter: What’s your message to those Republicans?
Noem: That every single person in this state needs to go vote on Jan. 5th. The consequences are huge. The consequences are significant, not just for Georgia, but for this country.
She did not directly answer a Washington Post reporter’s question on whether members of Congress should be prevented from trading stock.
David Weigel, Washington Post Reporter: Should Senators be allowed… you were in the House for a decade. Should people in Congress be allowed to trade stock or not?
Noem: The accusations that have been made in this race about that against Kelly have been proven to be completely false.
Governor Noem has reportedly been invited to speak at the RNC January meeting in Florida, as part of dozen potential 2024 presidential candidates.
Noem’s office has told KELOLAND News that taxpayer dollars are not being used to pay for her travels, but a security detail from the Highway Patrol that typically goes with her is funded by state government.
Her office refuses to tell us how much that is, saying it is a matter of security and cannot be disclosed.
On Monday, Governor Noem just announced that following her budget address to the legislature in Pierre, she will hold two news conferences on Wednesday; one in Huron and the other in Rapid City.