Gov. Noem discusses proposed bills, COVID-19 pandemic and election concerns in news conference Thursday

Local News

UPDATED 11:22 a.m.

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — In another wide-ranging news conference at the state Capitol in Pierre, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) addressed the COVID-19 pandemic, election concerns and proposed legislation being discussed by state lawmakers.  

She highlighted her new legislation proposals for prohibiting abortions due to Down syndrome, private property rights and open fields legislation as well as law enforcement resistance training at least every two years.   

Gov. Noem was first asked about Dr. Deborah Birx’s comments to Face the Nation where the former White House coronavirus response coordinator under former President Donald Trump criticized the Sturgis Rally calling it “not OK.”  

In response, Noem said in South Dakota throughout the pandemic, the state has followed the science, data and facts and allowed for personal responsibility. 

“I know Dr. Birx has expressed lots of opinions,” Noem said. “We’ve tragically lost a lot of people. In South Dakota, overwhelmingly, people banded together, worked together to protect our health but also make sure we protected our way of life too.” 

Gov. Noem said the state is continuing to focus on taking care of people and keeping hospital capacity available. She said South Dakota peaked earlier than other states. 

“As this virus travels across the county, there may have been different decisions that governor’s made. In South Dakota we peaked early and we’re down now,” Noem said. “I don’t think the people of South Dakota agree that we should’ve done something differently. I think they’ve appreciated the face that I’ve trusted them.” 

Asked about House Bill 1089, which would disclose the security costs for the governor’s office, Noem said she doesn’t talk about security and never has. 

“No governor ever has,” Noem said. “That’s not something I should be commenting on.” 

Asked about the 2020 election results, Gov. Noem said President Joe Biden is in office. She said his administration is who she will have to work with moving forward. 

Noem said former President Donald Trump deserved his day in court to challenge the election results and he didn’t get a different result. She said she’s willing to work with President Biden. 

“We deserve fair and transparent elections,” Noem said. “I’m really hopeful that across this country, we can see some more efforts to bring more transparency to the election process in many states.” 

When asked about Amendment A and the ongoing lawsuit with legalizing marijuana in South Dakota, Noem said she’s waiting to see what the court ruling will be. She said people knew where she stood on Amendment A and that she “doesn’t think anyone got smarter by smoking pot.”

7:05 a.m.

Gov. Kristi Noem will be holding a news conference later Thursday morning

The South Dakota governor is expected to speak at 10:30 a.m. KELOLAND News will be covering the conference and we’ll bring you the latest on it later today.

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