Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota defended her decision not to block businesses from enforcing divisive vaccine passports, alleging that it would be government overreach to do so.
Other Republican governors, like Florida’s Ron DeSantis, have taken the opposite approach and prohibited the enforcement of vaccine mandates in their states.
In an Instagram video posted on August 25, Gov. Noem explained her decision not to support the COVID-19 Vaccine Freedom of Conscience Act.
The bill, brought by Republican state reps. Scott Odenbach and Jon Hansen, seeks to prohibit businesses in the state from enforcing vaccine mandates for their employees.
“I don’t have the authority as governor to tell them what to do,” Noem said.
The governor argued that prohibiting businesses from implementing vaccine passports is a “slippery slope.”
“When leaders overstep their authority, that is how we break this country, and if government starts acting unconstitutionally, even if it’s doing something that we like, that is a dangerous path,” she claimed.
She added that “it is not conservative to grow government and to tell businesses what to do and how to treat their employees.”
But her critics and proponents of the proposed bill think her approach is weak, compared to other states like Florida where the governor prohibited the enforcement of vaccine mandates.