South Dakota Gov. Noem says she doesn't plan to increase vaccine messaging

South Dakota Gov. Noem says she doesn't plan to increase vaccine messaging
© getty: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R)

South Dakota Gov. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemSouth Dakota lawmakers release petition to impeach state attorney general OSHA faces big challenge with Biden vaccine mandate Overnight Health Care — Departing FDA vaccine regulators argue against COVID-19 booster shots MORE (R) says she doesn’t plan to increase coronavirus vaccine messaging amid a rise in cases of the delta variant.

Noem told The Associated Press in an interview published Friday that the messaging in South Dakota has already reached “a saturation level where people start to tune you out.”

However, she granted that the delta variant itself could get more attention from the state.

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“We might need to really step up our communication so that people understand how the variant is different,” Noem said. “You might see more communication from us if we start seeing cases dramatically increase.”

The delta variant, more contagious than previous strains of the virus, has become the dominant strain in the U.S.

South Dakota has only 47 percent of its population fully vaccinated, with vaccinations slowing down in the state.

Noem, considered a potential 2024 presidential contender, is one of the many Republican governors who decried new Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance this week to have even fully vaccinated individuals put on masks in areas with high rates of transmission of the virus.

“The CDC shifts their position AGAIN,” she said on Twitter. “South Dakota’s cases remain low. If you’re worried about the virus, you’re free to get vaccinated, wear a mask, or stay at home. But we won’t be mandating anything. And the CDC’s inconsistency doesn’t help the American people.”