South Dakota Gov. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemSouth Dakota GOP lawmakers summon two employees for Noem inquiry Republicans' mantra should have been 'Stop the Spread' Biden presses companies to get ahead of vaccine mandate MORE (R) on Tuesday posted a photo of her and more than a dozen of her staffers at her home without masks, drawing backlash from some.
“Love having our legislative pages over for dinner! We could not get through session without their help,” Noem tweeted with the photo.
Love having our legislative pages over for dinner! We could not get through session without their help. pic.twitter.com/OOT3pAtaER— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) February 9, 2021
The photo shows 25 people at the staff dinner, only one of whom is wearing a mask. Many have criticized the move, saying it is irresponsible to have that many people at an event without masks due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
South Dakota has seen more than 100,000 coronavirus cases and more than 1,800 deaths from the virus. Health officials have been urging people since March to wear masks when in groups in order to combat the spread of the virus.
Although more people have been receiving the coronavirus vaccine, health officials warn that masks and social distancing will still be needed for the foreseeable future.
Noem has received harsh criticism for the event.
You're failing the human test. https://t.co/NT919zXVwF— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) February 9, 2021
The governor of South Dakota is bragging about gathering people together in close proximity without masks during a pandemic. 1 in 500 people in her state has already died from Covid. https://t.co/HWYWwshOIj— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 9, 2021
The one girl with a mask on received praise for following guidelines during a large gathering.
Really feel for that one girl with the mask there. https://t.co/zkFC6xLu9o— Murtaza M. Hussain (@MazMHussain) February 9, 2021
Shoutout to the 1 brave soul who passed a science course. https://t.co/ItOq4lcftO— David Brauer (@dbrauer) February 9, 2021
The Hill has reached out to Noem's office for comment.