Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) has defended her policy not to pursue a full lockdown in South Dakota in a Wednesday interview with Breitbart News.
Noem noted that past projections of a “surge” in the coronavirus outbreak have turned out to be false, before noting the relatively low numbers of hospitalized individuals.
“I think we’ve got maybe 60 people in the hospital right now,” Noem stated. “We have 2,500 beds set aside for COVID-19 patients, but we only have 63 in.”
Noem then emphasized that her decision not to lock South Dakota down was motivated by desire to protect the freedoms of the people of her state.
“I took an oath to uphold our state Constitution. I took an oath when I was in Congress to uphold the United States Constitution. So I believe in people’s freedoms and liberties and I always balance that with every decision that I make as governor,” Noem said.
“I get overly concerned with leaders who take too much power in a time of crisis because I think that’s how we directly lose our country someday by leaders overstepping their proper role.”
Though Noem has drawn much criticism for her decision to break from the vast majority of Governors in the country on the coronavirus lockdown, her strategy has clearly delivered results. With hospitalizations and deaths far below projected levels, other states are likely to follow in her stead.