Governor of South Dakota Gives Her Take on Social Distancing: ‘Less Covid, More Hunting’

by Jennifer Shea
(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem takes her social distancing as seriously as she does her hunting.

In a new video, Noem appears in the middle of a cornfield, clad in a bright orange hunting vest and cap. She takes aim and shoots a bird that’s flying across the top of the shot. Then she addresses the camera: “Less COVID, more hunting. That’s the plan for the future.”

South Dakota style social distancing

The governor’s office released the video on Wednesday.

“This is how we do social distancing in South Dakota,” the governor tweeted.

The tweet garnered over 24,000 retweets and 111,000 likes on Twitter. It also immediately drew backlash from Democrats.

Twitter firestorm

“I social distance too,” tweeted Twitter user @OnceLayne. “I stay the hell away from the transphobic state like it has an outbreak of covfefe19. Wait it does.”

Some animal rights advocates were outraged by the governor’s stunt. “You killed that duck squarely for the hell of it!” Twitter user Leslie replied to Noem’s tweet. 

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) even got in on the action. “Are you bonkers or just cruel?” @PETA tweeted at Noem. “Do you call it social distancing because with such needless violence no one will want to visit your state?”

The tweet drew a swift rebuke from Noem. 

“Many on the Left simply don’t understand our South Dakota way of life,” she replied.

Noem’s tweet was a hit with conservative Twitter, with many Republican lawmakers and cultural commentators plugging her video on their Twitter feeds.

“Nice shots!!!” Republican Ohio City Councilman Aaron Carpenter tweeted. “One of America’s best Governors right here.”

Twitter user @RicRyan52 replied to her tweet, “Wouldn’t you like to run New York for a while? Please?”

Check out more Twitter responses below:

South Dakota’s state Department of Health released new numbers on Wednesday showing a record number of people in hospitals due to the coronavirus, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported. The state also set a record for new confirmed cases. No deaths were reported, but South Dakota currently has the highest rate of hospitalizations per capita in the country.