Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem accused some Republican governors Sunday of “rewriting history” in how they reflect on their performance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It appeared Noem was likely referring to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, among others. DeSantis issued a stay-at-home order for Florida on April 1 of last year, lifting it almost a month later on April 29. He removed all restrictions on businesses the following September. Noem, by contrast, was one of seven GOP governors who never issued a shutdown order for their states.
“Let’s talk about rewriting history. We’ve got Republican Governors across this country pretending they didn’t shut down their states, that they didn’t close their beaches, that they didn’t mandate masks, that they didn’t issue shelter-in-places,” Noem said while speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas. (RELATED: ‘Let’s Focus On Real Criminals’: DeSantis Pardons COVID-19 State Penalties)
Both DeSantis and Noem have received praise from conservatives for their opposition to the strict COVID-19 orders imposed in states like New York and California, as well as for opening up schools in September.
DeSantis has also routinely cited his unwillingness to go along with prolonged coronavirus shutdowns, recently saying at a country music festival that “Florida chose freedom over Fauci-ism.”
“Now I’m not picking fights with Republican governors” Noem said at CPAC. “All I’m saying is that we need leaders with grit, that their first instinct is to make the right decision, that they don’t backtrack and then try to fool you into the fact that they never made the wrong decision.”
Noem has also recently came under fire from conservatives who accused her of caving to corporate pressure after she rejected a bill to ban biological males from competing in girl’s sports.
DeSantis, by contrast, signed the proposal into law, remarking that corporate pressure “strengthened” his resolve to make the decision.