- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 16, 2020

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Wednesday accused The Washington Post and other mainstream media outlets of creating a “fear culture” over the coronavirus instead of focusing on facts.

The Post reported Monday about the coronavirus outbreak at the pork-processing plant Smithfield Foods in South Dakota, which forced the indefinite closure of the facility and sparked concerns about the U.S. meat supply. The paper tied the outbreak to Ms. Noem’s refusal to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, quoting Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken as saying, “A shelter-in-place order is needed now. It is needed today.”

Ms. Noem, a Republican, said Wednesday that Smithfield Foods is a “critical infrastructure business” and would have been exempt from such an order.

“That article is completely inaccurate,” the governor said during an interview with TheBlaze’s Glenn Beck. “Regardless if I had chosen to put a shelter-in-place order across the state of South Dakota, that plant would have been up and operating because it’s such an important part of our food supply and, frankly, having it running is a national security issue.

“The Post decided to not use the facts and run with an agenda that I think is unfortunate for the public,” she continued. “I think it’s a grave disservice to our public when they don’t tell all the facts because they’re misleading them and creating this fear culture at a very important time.”



Ms. Noem also slammed the “national press” on Twitter.

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