Governor Kristi Noem will speak at Republican National Convention

August 18, 2020

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem will speak at the Republican National Convention, her office confirmed Tuesday.

The Republican governor has developed a national profile through her hands-off approach to the coronavirus pandemic, gaining attention from President Donald Trump. Instead of ordering statewide lockdowns or business closures, Noem has encouraged “personal responsibility” to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Noem has made frequent appearances on Fox News and even installed a small TV studio at the governor’s office last year. As she staked out controversial positions on the pandemic and downplayed the danger of large gatherings, conservative pundits have pinpointed her as a rising star in the Republican party.

While the number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 has remained at a manageable level for the state’s health care system, the number of new infections in South Dakota has risen in recent weeks. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by about 17, an increase of 21%

Her spokesman Ian Fury did not provide details on when she would speak or for how long, saying “things are still being worked out.”