Noem asks Biden to Lift Vaccine Mandate on International Travel

August 11, 2022

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem and 16 of her fellow Republican governors have sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to “end the requirement that all non-U.S. citizen travelers entering the United States be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.” You can find the letter here.

“The rest of the world is moving on from the COVID-19 pandemic and returning to normal. It is time for your Administration to do the same,” wrote Governor Noem and her colleagues.

The governors pointed out that the continuation of the vaccine mandate for international travel contradicts the Biden Administration’s push to revoke the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Title 42 order, which allows the Department of Homeland Security to deport illegal immigrants for public health reasons.

“Over the last several months, countries around the world dropped mandatory vaccine requirements for visitors from Australia to Israel to almost every country in Europe,” continued Governor Noem and her colleagues. “The continued requirements, even as other countries are moving in the opposite direction, put us at a competitive disadvantage as our states work to welcome international travelers, attract foreign business prospects, and host global athletic competitions.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Noem was the only governor in America who never ordered a single business or church to close or even defined what an “essential business” was. She never instituted mask or vaccine mandates, instead trusting the people of South Dakota to exercise personal responsibility to make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones.

Governor Noem was joined by the following Republican governors in signing the letter: Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Idaho Governor Brad Little, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.