At the CPAC summit in Dallas, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem accused fellow Republican governors of whitewashing their COVID records, claiming that some are “rewriting history” and pretending that they never curtailed freedoms and shut down businesses.
“We’ve got Republican governors across this country pretending they didn’t shut down their states; that they didn’t close their regions; that they didn’t mandate masks, that they didn’t need to issue shelter in places,” Noem suggested in possible reference to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who imposed lockdowns at the genesis of the pandemic like other progressive states.
“Now I’m not picking fights with Republican governors. All I’m saying is that we need leaders with grit. That their first instinct is the right instinct. That they don’t backtrack and then try to fool you into the fact that they never made the wrong decision. So, demand honesty from your leaders,” the 2024 hopeful contender said.
DeSantis directed Floridians to remain indoors indefinitely on April 1 of 2020, but then lifted the order on April 29. In September, he removed all remaining restrictions on businesses, allowing restaurants and bars to again operate at full capacity. Noem touted her record during the pandemic, saying she managed the virus without dramatically interfering in citizens’ livelihoods and emphasizing that she never shut down a “single business” in her state.
“South Dakota did not do any of those (measures). We didn’t mandate. We trusted our people and it told them that personal responsibility was the best answer,” she said.
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