Governor Noem campaign launches COVID-themed merchandise

The merchandise features the slogan she coined in a viral Instagram video a few weeks ago.
Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 9:27 AM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - “Less COVID, More Hunting," that is the message from Governor Kristi Noem is sending with a new t-shirt line on her website.

While some see that as concerning, Governor Noem’s office sees it as an opportunity to highlight South Dakota’s COVID response, and hunting season.

The South Dakota Democratic Party has raised concerns about the decision to campaign off of COVID at a time where every South Dakotan is effected.

“Friends, neighbors, relatives, (are) effected by this. It is really upsetting to me that this is being taken so casually, and almost with humor.” said Nikki Gronli, South Dakota Democratic Party Vice Chair.

Governor Noem’s Communications Director Ian Fury said that the state democrats' criticism was “shameful," given the shirts weren’t partisan, and weren’t intended to indicate anything other than “we are all seriously working towards a time when we’re past the pandemic.” said Fury.

However, state Democrats say they take issue with the Governor’s actions.

“Our Governor is encouraging this outdoorsman show to happen, a concert to happen, and another super spreader event.” Gronli said.

Some health care workers in South Dakota are also raising eyebrows at the campaign choice.

“It is frustrating for us as health care workers who are doing this day in and day out, and often times doing it working double shifts, because COVID is effecting not only patients, but the healthcare workers themselves.” said Chad Skiles, an EMT in Canton.

Fury offered up the following in response to questions regarding the new t-shirt campaign:

“Governor Noem has always taken this virus seriously while trusting South Dakotans to exercise their personal responsibility to make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones. Hunting is a great way for South Dakotans to enjoy themselves, practice social distancing, and spend time outdoors, where COVID is less likely to spread.”

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