South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says she will not be requiring folks in the state to wear two face masks, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
During a press briefing Thursday, Gov. Noem told a reporter she believes it’s wrong for governments to force people to wear face masks.
When a reporter suggested she was “skeptical” of masks’ “efficacy,” Noem quickly corrected him saying, “I never said that, Joe, don’t put words in my mouth.”
“What I’ve said is the appropriate mask at the appropriate time utilized correctly and kept sanitary can make a difference, but I also don’t believe it’s my role to mandate that people wear a mask,” Noem said.
“I’ve left, for the entire year, it up to personal responsibility to make the best decision for them and their families and I will continue to do that,” Noem said.
When asked about the CDC’s new two-mask guidelines, Noem countered saying the “CDC has changed their recommendations many, many times,” oftentimes under political pressure.
“I choose to rely on science and data and facts, and masks can work in certain situations if you’re wearing the right kind and you’re doing it appropriately,” she told the reporter. “But I’m not going to mandate it.”
“It’s not an argument over whether masks work or if they don’t work, I’ve never argued that,” Noem highlighted. “What I argue is the mandate. I think the mandate is inappropriate for government to come in and mandate that someone wear a mask.”
In conclusion, she added, “Not coming to South Dakota… so, I will not be doing that, that’s for sure.”
Last week, the CDC issued an advisory recommending wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask.
In the past few months, multiple states, including Alaska, Arizona, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana and Florida, have all lifted mandatory face mask orders.