During her CPAC speech on Saturday, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem earned a standing ovation when talking about her state's COVID-19 decision to provide people with the freedom to make their own choices rather than imposing government mandates based on the ever-changing recommendations of medical experts.
"Dr. Fauci told me that I would have 10,000 COVID patients in the hospital on our worst day," Noem said. "On our worst day, we had a little over 600. I don't know if you agree, but Dr. Fauci is wrong a lot."
Noem said her strategy has been built around hospital capacity numbers rather than positive case results.
The following day, on CBS's "Face the Nation" program, Fauci took offense to Noem's remarks.
"It is not really helpful," the infectious disease doctor told host Margaret Brennan. "Because sometimes you think things are going well, and just take a look at the numbers. They don't lie. … I'm sure that you can get a standing ovation by saying I'm wrong."
Noem followed Fauci onto the Sunday morning show, and defended her position that giving people "personal responsibility" and flexibility to "keep their businesses open," are the appropriate government response to the pandemic.