Governor refuses to shut down state for coronavirus

By WND Staff

Like her neighbor to the west – which, quips Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, has been  “socially distancing the entire 130 years that we have been a state” – Republican Gov. Kristi Noem says she won’t shut down South Dakota in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Noem argues South Dakota isn’t New York City, and her job is to protect the right of the people to take responsibility and care for themselves and their neighbors.

Barrasso, a Republican, said Monday that Wyoming isn’t ordering residents to stay home because social distancing already is occurring.

Wyoming has just five people per square mile and South Dakota has 11, while New York City has more than 27,000.

At a press conference, Noem rejected the one-size-fits-all approach to the pandemic, the Red State blog reported.

“Our Constitution ensures the citizen’s right is protected. I agree with the role of our government as set forth in our state and in our national constitution. I took an oath to uphold these constitutions,” she said.

She’s naturally concerned about public safety but believes it’s the primary responsibility of the people.

“They are the ones that are entrusted with expansive freedoms – they’re free to exercise their rights to work, to worship, and to play – or to even stay at home, or to conduct social distancing,” she said.

Noem noted that priorities in a city aren’t the same on the plains.

“The calls to apply a one-size-fits-all approach to this problem in South Dakota is herd mentality, not leadership,” she said.

RedState noted New York City, the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, has had 130,689 coronavirus cases, with a death rate per million people of 243. South Dakota’s seen 288 cases, with a rate of fatality per million of only five.

“South Dakota is not New York City,” the governor said. “And our sense of personal responsibility, our resiliency, and our already-sparse population density put us in a great position to manage the spread of this virus without needing to resort to some of the measures that we’ve seen in some of these major cities, coastal cities, and in other countries.”

She said her state is making decisions based on its principles, common-sense conservative values, the facts, the science and the data.

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