Rep. Dusty Johnson talks fireworks show at Mount Rushmore on CNN

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 8:56 AM CDT
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Representative Dusty Johnson appeared on CNN Tuesday night in an interview with Chris Cuomo. The interview focused on the event happening at Mount Rushmore Friday to celebrate America's independence. President Donald Trump is expected to attend, and 7,500 tickets were given out to the public in a lottery to attend.

In an interview Monday night with Fox News, Governor Kristi Noem said people will not be social distancing at the event. She said those who are concerned can stay home. Face masks will be given out to those who want to wear one, but it won't be required to wear one.

In the interview with CNN Tuesday, Cuomo asked Representative Johnson why the state won't require social distancing or require attendees to wear masks.

Johnson said South Dakota has a unique landscape. He mentioned that cases are going down in the state as well as hospitalizations. He said South Dakota can't be compared to California, Texas or Florida and that different risk management is needed for different states.

"Let me be very clear about this. A mask is not weakness. I mean, I wear a mask all the time in the capitol. I wear it when I'm going to Thune's Hardware in Mitchell, South Dakota, wear it when I'm on the airplane. I wear it when I am in close proximity to people," Johnson said. "Now, my government doesn't tell me that I've got to do that. I do it because it's the right thing to do, and I think the people of Mount Rushmore should wear a mask."

Johnson said to Cuomo he doesn't believe the government should require people to wear a mask. Johnson compared a requirement of masks at the Mount Rushmore fireworks event to requiring protesters to wear masks. Johnson said if the government requires it at the Mount Rushmore event, then it should have been required of protesters across the nation as well.

Cuomo said it's not an "apples to apples" situation.

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