- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 8, 2023

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is set to deliver three speeches in Washington this month to highlight the threat posed by China and the efforts she took to keep her state open during the COVID-19 crisis.

The speeches, first reported by Fox News, are sure to generate murmurs about a possible presidential bid by the rising Republican star.

Ms. Noem will discuss the threat from China and its communist government in a Feb. 15 speech at the America First Policy Institute, a group aligned with former President Donald Trump.

She recently signed an executive order that prohibits South Dakota from doing business with telecommunication companies owned or backed by “evil foreign governments,” identified as China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Cuba and Venezuela.

Ms. Noem will promote her COVID-19 policies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, on Feb. 16, and will address the American work ethic on Feb. 17 at the Coolidge Foundation’s “Coolidge and the American Project” at the Library of Congress.

Ms. Noem rose to prominence as a member of Congress during the last decade before winning the governor’s seat in 2018 and being reelected last year. She generated headlines during the pandemic by resisting calls to shut down businesses, casting her state as an outlying bastion of freedom.

The governor will address the Coolidge Foundation one day after former Vice President Mike Pence speaks to the group, according to the Fox report.

Pundits see Ms. Noem and Mr. Pence as potential contenders in the 2024 GOP primary for president.

Former President Donald Trump formally declared his candidacy, and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is set to jump into the race in the coming days.

Many Republicans are waiting to see if Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who romped to reelection in November, enters the race.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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