South Dakota governor slams Biden over fireworks plans: ‘What a hypocrite’
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) blasted President Biden on Tuesday, accusing him of being a “hypocrite” for planning Fourth of July celebrations at the White House after her plans to hold a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore were denied.
“What a hypocrite. President @JoeBiden wants “a summer of freedom” where we “mark independence from the virus by celebrating with events across the country,” Noem tweeted, sharing a screengrab of the White House’s Independence Day celebration announcement. “Translation: fireworks are fine at the White House, but not at Mount Rushmore.”
What a hypocrite. President @JoeBiden wants “a summer of freedom” where we “mark independence from the virus by celebrating with events across the country.”
Translation: fireworks are fine at the White House, but not at Mount Rushmore. pic.twitter.com/kHHqkHqlBk
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) June 15, 2021
In March, the The National Park Service (NPS) denied a request from South Dakota to hold a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore, citing potential health risks to employees and visitors.
“Potential risks to the park itself and to the health and safety of employees and visitors associated with the fireworks demonstration continue to be a concern and are still being evaluated as a result of the 2020 event,” NPS Regional Director Herbert Frost wrote to South Dakota tourism officials.
“In addition, the park’s many tribal partners expressly oppose fireworks at the Memorial,” Frost added. “These factors, compiled with the COVID-19 pandemic, do not allow a safe and responsible fireworks display to be held at this site.”
After the fireworks request was denied, Noem sued the Biden administration in April.
“The letter made no attempt to quantify or otherwise characterize the risk level for this year’s planned event or how it differed from the risk level for the exact same event last year, which [the Interior Department] approved,” Noem’s lawsuit read.
“Mount Rushmore is the very best place to celebrate America’s birthday and all that makes our country special,” Noem said when announcing the lawsuit. “We are asking the court to enjoin the Department of Interior’s (DOI) denial of the fireworks permit and order it to issue a permit for the event expeditiously.”