South Dakota Governor Says Lockdowns Are ‘Useless’ As State’s COVID Cases Soar

Screengrab / Governor Kristi Noem / YouTube


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is holding tight to her hands-off pandemic approach despite the state's soaring cases.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) continues defending her hands-off approach to the coronavirus pandemic, even as COVID-19 cases in her state continue to soar, according to ABC News.

  • Noem said in an address to lawmakers earlier this week that stay-at-home orders are “useless” in keeping the virus from spreading.
  • The governor read a portion of a letter she said she received from a national reporter, who wrote: “Governor, if you hadn't stood against lockdowns, we'd have no proof of just how useless they really have been.”
  • “Noem said she hopes to show other states that there are ways to navigate the pandemic without enforcing harsh government mandates. Her comments came just days after the Mount Rushmore State broke a monthly record for active COVID-19 cases," ABC News reported.

South Dakota had the second highest number of new cases per capita -- behind North Dakota -- according to The COVID Tracking Project. But on Tuesday, South Dakota rose to first place, with the highest positivity rate of any state over the past 14 days, at 23.64%, the tracking project said.

The national average rate over the same 14-day span was just 4.7%.

Read the full report.


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