South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem Blasts COVID-19 Bill: Rewards States ‘For Their Bad Actions’

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Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem criticized the latest coronavirus relief package put together by Democrats as rewarding states for “bad actions.”

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was released Friday by House Democrats and includes, among other measures, $1.5 million for the “maintenance and capital infrastructure activities” of the Seaway International Bridge in Massena, New York, reportedly a priority for Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Appearing Tuesday morning on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” Noem called the bill “very, very unfair.”


“It bails out those states that shut down their economies. It rewards them for making people stay in their homes and for taking away a business’ right to be open and take care of their customers and employees,” Noem told anchor Bill Hemmer.

Noem, one of the few state governors during the pandemic to keep her state largely open and to refrain from implementing a statewide mask mandate, said the package is “incredibly detrimental” to her state.

“We made the right decisions,” she said. “We trusted people. We have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation and are tied for it with Nebraska and we’re getting through this together. What this bill does is reward New York and Illinois and California for their bad actions and their overstep of our personal liberties and freedoms.” (RELATED: ‘The Political Version Of Money Laundering’: Greg Gutfeld Compares COVID-19 Relief Bill To ‘Breaking Bad’ Carwash)

The South Dakota governor plugged South Dakota’s efforts at vaccinating and protecting its vulnerable population.

“Congress needs to do the right thing,” she added. “They need to stop doing bills like this. They need to start focusing on what made America great and it was trusting people, protecting our freedoms and making responsible fiscal decisions.”

South Dakota ranks eighth in number of U.S. COVID-19 deaths per capita, according to a nationwide breakdown by Statista. South Dakota has a recorded 211 deaths per 100,000 citizens, compared to the top state — New York — with 257 recorded deaths per 100,000 citizens.