SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation Sunday morning to discuss South Dakota’s response to COVID-19, the Capitol insurrection and former President Donald Trump.
Face the Nation’s Margaret Brennan spent much of Noem’s appearance focusing on South Dakota’s COVID-19 death rate, which according to the CDC South Dakota now has the 8th highest per capita. Noem emphasized personal responsibility in the state’s COVID-19 approach, repeatedly citing South Dakota’s infection numbers and hospitalizations as examples of success.
“In South Dakota we took this virus very seriously,” Noem commented.
When pressed on South Dakota’s deaths per capita, Noem asked why these questions were not being asked of Democrats such as Governor Andrew Cuomo (NY) or Governor Gavin Newsom (CA).
Brennan asked the governor whether she takes personal responsibility for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally as a Midwest super-spreader event.
“This is completely false information,” Noem responded. “It is not based on facts.”
Noem said the state tracked less than 100 cases of COVID-19 at the rally. Again, Noem emphasized personal responsibility and allowing South Dakotans to make decisions for themselves.
Noem said every state’s approach was different in order to handle the virus, including how it was approached in South Dakota communities.
“I also let them look locally at what is best for them,” Noem said.
The conversation turned to the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6 to which Noem responded that the events of that day were a tragedy. When pressed on former President Trump’s alleged incitement of the riot, Noem said that the focus now should be on facts and unity.
Following Sunday’s appearance Governor Noem tweeted that “They’d rather attack my state for respecting freedom and personal responsibility” in response to the interview, saying that she was not once asked about South Dakota’s vaccine distribution.
Noem spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday in Orlando. There she discussed COVID-19, receiving standing ovations for her criticism of Dr. Anthony Fauci and South Dakota’s response to COVID-19.