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South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem responded to questions surrounding potential mask mandates and a double mask mandates on Thursday, saying they would "not coming in South Dakota... That's for sure."
"I've left, for the entire year, it up to personal responsibility to make the best decision for them and their families and I will continue to do that," Noem said.
During a press conference on Thursday, journalist suggested that Noem had been "skeptical" of mask mandates, to which Noem replied "don't put words in my mouth."
"What I've said is the appropriate mask at the appropriate time utilized correctly, kept sanitary, can make a difference," Noem said. "But I also don't think it's my role to mandate that people wear a mask."
When asked about the CDC's recent guidance suggesting double masking for greater safety against coronavirus, Noem said that the "CDC has changed their recommendations many, many times," noting that the CDC has occasionally done so under political pressure.
"I choose to rely on science and data and facts, and masks can work in certain situations if you're wearing the right kind and you're doing it appropriately," Noem clarified. "But I'm not going to mandate it."
"It's not an argument over whether masks work or if they don't work, I've never argued that. What I argue is the mandate. I think the mandate is inappropriate for government to come in and mandate that someone wear a mask."
"That's not what America is about and it's not what South Dakota is about," Noem said.