South Dakota Gov. Noem unveils ‘back to normal’ plan, says it places power in ‘hands of the people'

The plan emphasizes personal responsibility instead of government orders.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Tuesday mapped out a plan for getting the state “back to normal,” amid the coronavirus outbreak, a plan that she said emphasizes personal responsibility instead of government orders.

Later, the Republican governor – who drew criticism from Democrats and others for never issuing a statewide stay-at-home-order -- talked about her plan during an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity.”

“In South Dakota we didn’t close any businesses,” Noem told host Sean Hannity. “We didn’t do any shelter-in-place.”

Noem previously stated that she opposed government-ordered safety measures because they infringed on citizens’ personal freedoms – and preferred informing the public so they could decide for themselves whether to follow recommendations or not.

“I trusted my people, they trusted me to make decisions that were best for us, and they’ve just done an absolute fantastic job,” Noem told Hannity. “That’s why my plan is not a reopening plan, it’s a back-to-normal plan.

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"I am not announcing any new government programs, more red tape, more prescriptive phases or tight controls,” Noem said, according to the Argus Leader. “That is not South Dakota. Rather, the plan I'm unveiling today puts the power into the hands of the people where it belongs.”

Hannity asked Noem how South Dakota managed to keep businesses such as restaurants operating despite the presence of the virus within the state’s borders.

“We encouraged them to have less than 10 people in their dining rooms, in their facilities, and to focus on delivery and carry out,” Noem responded.

‘’What we’ve told them today when I unveiled my Back to Normal plan, was that I asked them to ensure physical distancing within their facilities to make sure that they had a rigorous sanitation [and] cleanliness protocol that they followed – and I think that our folks in South Dakota are ready to do that.

The Washington Examiner has more on how the people of South Dakota have responded to Gov. Noem's handling of the pandemic: 

South Dakota residents threw Gov. Kristi Noem a parade following the Republican’s decision against implementing a stay-at-home order in the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Noem shared a video on Twitter on Monday, showing people honking from their cars and emergency response vehicles blaring sirens for the governor.

"It's a parade for you. Wave to 'em!" a woman off-camera told the governor.

"I am so blessed to serve the people of the great State of South Dakota. You folks made my day!" Noem tweeted.

Noem tweet