Noem uses COVID-19 restrictions elsewhere to lure business

Noem says government will stay out of your way in South Dakota.
Noem is not interested in running for president.
Noem is not interested in running for president.
Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 11:23 AM MDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Gov. Kristi Noem is using COVID-19 restrictions in other states to lure businesses to relocate to South Dakota.

In an online ad, Noem tells business owners to “grow their company” in South Dakota where government will stay out of their way.

“When it comes to supporting growth and eliminating government heavy-handed interference, South Dakota means business,” Noem said in the ad from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

The Republican governor says Minnesota’s COVID-19-related restrictions, including a mandate to wear face masks in public buildings, has created an opportunity for businesses there to cross the border to South Dakota.

“In South Dakota, we trust our people; we respect their rights; we won’t shut them down,” Noem says.

Noem has taken a relaxed approach to the pandemic. Even as Republican governors in states like Texas have moved to require people to wear masks, Noem didn’t require physical distancing or masks at the July 3 celebration at Mount Rushmore, which President Donald Trump attended.

Wednesday, Noem had similar messaging when on “The Ingraham Angle.” The governor said South Dakota’s lax COVID-19 restrictions has allowed the state to “enjoy their way of life.”

This was said in regard to the upcoming Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which is expected to bring an average of 250,000 people to the state. The event will most likely be the biggest event anywhere during the international pandemic.

“People have been gathering,” Gov. Noem said on-air. “We’ve been back to normal for almost three months in here in South Dakota. We know we can have these events, and give people information, let them protect their health but still enjoy their way of life and enjoy events like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.