South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem thanked President Trump for offering federal assistance to her state to mitigate damage from the coronavirus pandemic, but she said it’s not needed thanks to her state’s healthy economy.
“My administration is very grateful to @realDonaldTrump for the additional flexibility that the 'Lost Wages Assistance' would have provided, but South Dakota is in the fortunate position of not needing to accept it,” Noem, a Republican, tweeted Friday, followed by a thread explaining the various reasons why her state does not need the $400 weekly unemployment payments approved by Trump.
Noem added that South Dakota’s economy didn’t shut down over coronavirus fears, allowing the state to be in good shape.
“South Dakota's economy, having never been shut down, has recovered nearly 80% of our job losses,” Noem said. “We're the only state in the nation that didn't have extended unemployment benefits kick in because our insured unemployment rate has been the lowest in the nation."
Noem continued, “South Dakota has the 3rd best housing construction market in the country. And many businesses are looking to relocate to SD because of the decisions we made during the pandemic. South Dakota is open for business. That applies to our business owners AND their employees.”
Noem then praised Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, stating that he “continues to problem solve and provide great leadership during our #COVID19 recovery effort.”
Noem is well known for rejecting the strict lockdown measures that states across the country imposed to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, and she maintains that decision was beneficial and constitutionally necessary.
“The facts on the ground here did not support shelter-in-place,” Noem said in April. “We just didn’t have the spread. For me personally, 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. 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.”