South Dakota Gov. Noem, tribes in virus checkpoints standoff (Audio)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Two Native American tribes in South Dakota continue to defy orders from Gov. Kristi Noem to take down road checkpoints the tribes had set up to stop coronavirus infections from spreading.

The issue pits a governor who has taken a mostly hands-off approach to restrictions during the pandemic against tribes who say her actions are inadequate to prevent infections.

The tribes say they feel they have to be vigilant to protect tribal members who have underlying health problems and rely on a fragile health care system.

Here’s what Governor Noem told reporters about the checkpoints at her Monday press briefing….

The standoff and potential legal fight comes amid longstanding tensions between Noem and the tribes, most notably over the Keystone XL pipeline.