South Dakota to build $400K fence around governor's residence amid coronavirus criticism

South Dakota is planning to build a $400,000 fence around the governor's residence following recommendations by security officials in response to unspecified threats against Gov. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemSouth Dakota AG issues statement on fatal crash, says 'I discovered the body' Authorities confirm South Dakota attorney general involved in fatal crash South Dakota governor defends Sturgis rallygoers: 'Exercised their personal freedom to attend' MORE (R), her office confirmed to The Hill on Thursday.

Noem, who has aligned herself with President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards MORE in recent months, has championed a hands-off approach to the coronavirus pandemic. Her response has reportedly led to personal threats against her.

Last week, thousands of bikers arrived in South Dakota for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, making it one of the largest public gatherings in the country since the pandemic began.


“It’s no secret that a few individuals don’t like some of the decisions the Governor has made on behalf of the people of South Dakota during this pandemic and otherwise,” a Noem spokesperson told The Hill. “In America, we debate issues; we don’t turn to violence. But it only takes one, and per the Governor’s security team, putting up a fence around the residence is critical at this time.”

The security plans were first reported by The Associated Press.

Noem’s administration last year proposed an 8-foot fence with a guardhouse, but the plan was abandoned.

The governor’s office told The Hill that the guardhouse will no longer be part of the security perimeter. It's unclear how much of the project will be taxpayer funded since some of the money will reportedly come from private donations.

Updated at 11:39 a.m.