Noem meets with Pence, senior White House officials on DC trip

July 23, 2020

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem met with senior members of President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

The Republican governor discussed the response to the coronavirus pandemic in meetings with Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Health Alex Azar. The governor’s spokesman Ian Fury said Noem discussed with Azar how a vaccine for COVID-19 could be distributed.

Pence tweeted after their meeting, ”I ensured her that we will make sure South Dakota has whatever it needs to protect the health and safety of its people.”

Fury said that Noem planned to meet with several other members of the president’s team during her trip, but a meeting with Trump was not scheduled.

Noem has seen her national profile rise among conservatives as she took a hands-off approach to the pandemic, avoiding orders for lockdowns or business closures. The governor’s pursuit of a national spotlight has led to speculation that she has political ambitions beyond South Dakota, but she has said she is content to remain in her home state.