State Watch

South Dakota governor posts photo of event at her house with more than a dozen maskless staffers

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (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. 

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.

The one girl with a mask on received praise for following guidelines during a large gathering.

 The Hill has reached out to Noem’s office for comment. 

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic in South Dakota Kristi Noem Kristi Noem Masks South Dakota

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