KEYSTONE, South Dakota — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) told Breitbart News exclusively that she believes President Joe Biden’s decision to withhold life-saving monoclonal antibody medicine from sick Americans with coronavirus nationwide including in her state constitutes “rationing” of the treatment. Noem said she believes Biden is doing this for “political reasons,” too, and that at least one major hospital system in South Dakota is struggling to get the medicine it needs to treat all its patients as a result of Biden’s administration withholding distribution of it.
“I’ve talked with all my health systems because I have several in the state about what their supply is,” Noem told Breitbart News here last week. “Some of them are doing okay, they feel like they have adequate supply as far as what their requests are and they haven’t felt a pinch. I do have one that is really struggling getting the supply that they want — they believe they’re being rationed. I think somewhere in the federal government, they’re stockpiling it — and they are delivering it out to states based on what their cases are, and based on what they think their scientific data is telling them that South Dakota should have. We’re going to continue to pressure to have the kind of medical treatments that we believe our people deserve. So, we’re not at a shortfall right now but we have noticed a difference in how the federal government is responding to us.”
Noem’s comments came during an interview for the latest On The Hill Breitbart News exclusive video series at Mount Rushmore National Memorial here in Keystone, South Dakota, just outside Rapid City. Noem spent two days with Breitbart News in South Dakota — one here at Mount Rushmore for this interview on Thursday last week, and then again Friday at Custer State Park at its annual Governor’s Buffalo Roundup for a second interview — where she focused on several pressing issues facing the state of South Dakota, the nation, and her standing in the conservative movement.
The situation Noem faces in South Dakota with monoclonal antibodies medication is a similar one — albeit on a smaller scale — to the challenges facing higher-populated states with Republican governors, like Florida and Texas, where Biden has also slowed the distribution of the life-saving Regeneron monoclonal antibodies treatments.
In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis has blasted Biden’s decision to withhold the life-saving treatment from sick Americans saying “patients are going to suffer” and noting that more than half of those seeking the medicine are fully vaccinated people. DeSantis has cut a deal with a different drug maker, GlaxoSmithKline, for thousands of doses of its new monoclonal antibody treatment, sutrovimab, to supplement the state’s stockpile shortages created by Biden’s rationing.
In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has also announced he has purchased extra Regeneron doses directly from drug maker AmerisourceBergen to offset shortages Biden is causing.
Watch – DeSantis: We’re Looking into Buying Our Own Monoclonal Antibodies After Biden Cuts Supply
Governor Ron DeSantis / Facebook
Noem, in her exclusive interview with Breitbart News, said that Biden’s actions on this front are “political.”
“You know, he does almost everything for political reasons,” Noem said. “That’s what is frustrating. When President Trump was in the White House, I was on offense every day. I could put conservative reforms in place, and really do innovative things that helped my people be more successful. As soon as President Biden came into the White House, it seems as though we’ve had to go on defense — immediately taking away our fireworks here at Mount Rushmore, on the third of July, that we wanted to use to celebrate our independence and now we’re fighting on funding issues, mandates that are coming down from the federal government, and now even this, you know, rationing, I believe, of monoclonal antibodies could be fundamentally detrimental to our state so I don’t feel like the White House gets up in the morning and thinks about helping the people of South Dakota and that’s why I have to fight even harder.”
Noem, however, would not agree with the characterization that some have made calling Biden’s rationing the monoclonal antibodies medicine “death panels” — a throwback to the Obamacare debate days when concerns surfaced that bureaucrats in Washington would ration health care for older Americans.
“You know I’m not certain of that,” Noem said. “I hate to make accusations without a basis — that’s one of the things … I’ll fight every day for my people, but I’m going to fight in a way that I’ll win and you do that by using facts, and you know we’re going to pressure them and continue to get more information on how they’re making those decisions. I do feel as though right now South Dakota certainly is not a priority.”
This story is the second from the On The Hill interview Breitbart News conducted with Noem. In the first, she laid out how she believes her state will prevail in litigation against the Biden administration over the National Parks Service blocking an Independence Day fireworks celebration at Mount Rushmore.
Watch – Gov. Noem on Biden Denying Independence Day Fireworks at Mt. Rushmore: “We Believe It Will Be Overturned”
Matthew Perdie, Jack Knudsen
Noem has been in the news this week as questions swirl around allegations she used her official office to help her daughter with real estate certifications — and as her informal adviser and former Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign manager Corey Lewandowski faces heat for allegations from a Republican donor that he engaged in sexual misconduct toward her at a dinner in Las Vegas.
Noem severed ties with Lewandowski over the allegations, which first surfaced in Politico this week from the alleged incident Sunday night in southern Nevada, which was several days after Noem’s interviews with Breitbart News in South Dakota. In addition, Noem denied separate anonymously-sourced allegations of an affair with Lewandowski on Wednesday as well.