Gov. Noem and Colleagues Push Back on Biden's Government Overreach

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May 24, 2024

Contact: Amelia Joy


Gov. Noem and Colleagues Push Back on Biden’s Government Overreach


PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem and 23 of her fellow Republican governors sent a letter to President Biden opposing proposed amendments to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Internal Health Regulations (IHR) and a new pandemic treaty. The full letter can be found here.


“South Dakota came out of the pandemic with the strongest economy in America, not because we listened to the World Health Organization – but because we trusted our people to make the best decisions for themselves and their loved-ones,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “The so-called ‘experts’ should not be given more power to devastate our way of life and shut our states down. In South Dakota, ‘Under God, the people rule,’ and that’s how it will always be.”


Governor Noem has consistently pushed back against federal government overreach, especially regarding public health. South Dakota was the only state in America to never shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the decisions Governor Noem made during the pandemic, South Dakota’s economy has continued to grow and thrive over the last several years.


“We, as governors of our respective states, stand united in opposition to two proposals currently under negotiation that would grant the WHO unprecedented and unconstitutional power over the United States and its people,” wrote Governor Noem and the other governors. “These proposed changes could drastically change the role of governors in response to their charge as the state health officials.”


These amendments would grant the WHO’s Director-General the authority to declare a “public health emergency of international concern” in member nations. They also introduce a new “Pandemic Agreement” that would infringe upon states’ rights.


“We affirm that public health policy is a matter reserved for the states, not the federal government, and certainly not international bodies like the WHO,” continued Governor Noem and the other governors. “We are committed to resisting any attempts to transfer authority to the WHO over public policy affecting our citizens or any efforts by the WHO to assert such authority over them.”


Governor Noem was joined by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy, Arkansas Governor Sarah Sanders, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, Idaho Governor Brad Little, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Utah Governor Spencer Cox, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.