South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem continued to withstand a statewide masks mandate on Wednesday, telling reporters she would not wish to impose a masks order simply “to make people feel good” as the state sees the highest positivity charge in the nation.

“Over the past week, cases are on the rase in 48 states. Some have said that my refusal to mandate masks is the reason why our cases are rising here in the state of South Dakota, and that is just not true,” Noem stated throughout a Wednesday press convention. “Others have said that my refusal to advance harsh restrictions like lockdowns is another one of the reasons why our cases are rising and that is also not true.”

The Republican governor added: “There are 41 states that have some kind of a mask mandate. Cases are on the rise in 39 of those 41 states.”

Noem claimed that South Dakota’s mortality charge over the course of the pandemic stays under the nationwide common and “far below other states like New York.” However, the New Yorker Zeits studies that the state’s demise charge elevated by almost 50 % in the final two weeks, bringing the whole demise toll to 674 as of Wednesday. South Dakota additionally presently leads the nation in Krankenhausaufenthalte, with 658 presently hospitalized from COVID-19 per 1 million individuals as of Tuesday.

South Dakota’s 7-day positivity charge is presently over 55 %, making it the second-highest in the nation after Wyoming, which reported a greater than 70 % positivity charge over the final seven days, in line with knowledge from Johns Hopkins University. Last week, South Dakota’s positivity charge was 58.4 %.

While Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has, like Noem, resisted issuing a statewide masks order, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who has dismissed a masks mandate for months, introduced on Monday that anybody over the age of two is required to put on a face overlaying indoors, noting “the pandemic in Iowa is the worst it has ever been.” Iowa presently has the third-highest positivity charge in the nation at 51 % in the previous week.


Governor of South Dakota Kristi Noem speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump listens throughout a gathering about the Governors Initiative on Regulatory Innovation in the Cabinet Room of the White House on December 16, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images/Getty

South Dakota reported over 1,000 new instances on Wednesday, bringing its whole to greater than 67,000 whole instances since the begin of the pandemic, in line with the COVID-Tracking-Projekt. South Dakota and neighboring North Dakota have had a few of the highest charges of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths in the nation and the world in the previous few weeks as the virus continues to ravage by means of the Midwest.

Despite the alarming knowledge, Noem stands agency on her refusal to situation a statewide masks mandate for now.

“I’ve consistently said that people that want to wear masks should wear masks and people who don’t shouldn’t be shamed because they choose not to,” she stated in the information convention. “It has been clear from the beginning that I’m not in favor of mandating mask wearing, I don’t believe that I have the authority to mandate that, and that people can use their own personal responsibility to make a decision when it comes to mask.”

She later stated that she was extra involved with “respect” and the way “neighbors are treating neighbors” in their communities, stating that those that select to not keep protected throughout a pandemic ought to nonetheless be handled with respect and understanding as a result of it is a “personal decision.” She adopted up that perception by saying that people who find themselves involved about the virus have the choice to easily select to not be round the individuals who aren’t as cautious.

Her remarks come simply days after a South Dakota nurse’s tweet about working the entrance strains throughout the pandemic went viral, in which she explains that sufferers are dying from the virus and nonetheless do not consider it is an actual risk.

“The ones that stick out are those who still don’t believe the virus is real. The ones who scream at you for a magic medicine and that Joe Biden is going to ruin the USA. All while gasping for breath on 100% Vapotherm,” Jodi Doering twitterte on Saturday. “They tell you there must be another reason they are sick. They call you names and ask why you have to wear all that ‘stuff’ because they don’t have COVID because it’s not real.”

In the final two weeks, there have been 2,047 new instances per 100,000 individuals in South Dakota, in line with Johns Hopkins University, that means that roughly considered one of each 49 individuals examined constructive.

Meanwhile, the governor’s workplace stated final week that Noem, who’s well-known in Republican circles for her hands-off method, won’t put a masks order into impact even when President-elect Joe Biden implements any federal COVID-19 orders.

“It’s a good day for freedom,” Noem’s workplace stated in an announcement to the Sioux Falls Argus Anführer. “Joe Biden realizes that the president doesn’t have the authority to institute a mask mandate. For that matter, neither does Governor Noem, which is why she has provided her citizens with the full scope of the science and trusted them to make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones.”

The governor’s spokeswoman Maggie Siedel questioned the effectiveness of masks in an e-mail to the Associated Press this week.

“The facts are simple: mask mandates, harsh lockdowns, massive testing and contact tracing haven’t worked – in the United States or abroad,” she wrote.

When requested for added remark by Newsweek, Noem’s workplace referred the publication to remarks made at the press convention.