Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem faced backlash over a new law in the state, which the White House referred to as 'policies attacking trans youth.' White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre accused Noem of 'funding ads attacking LGBT youth.'
Jean-Pierre made the comments on her Twitter handle over a video of Noem being questioned about statistics showing LGBTQ youth in South Dakota being diagnosed with anxiety or depression.
Jean-Pierre also urged Noem to support President Biden's 'agenda to enhance support for youth mental health needs, with funding made available through the American Rescue Plan.'
In the said video, Gov Kristi Noem was asked by a reporter her opinion over the fact that nearly 90% of the LGBTQ+ community in South Dakota are reported dealing with anxiety or depression. "I don't know. That makes me sad, and we should figure it out," Noem responded.
Noem drew flak on social media for her response as netizens were quick to point out that she had helped draft, pass, and sign into law SB 46, which bans trans youth from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity. Noem became the first governor became to sign anti-transgender legislation into law in 2022.
'She really doesn't see the connection...'
Netizens asked how does Noem not see the 'connection between legislating the erasure of a group of people and them feeling worthless and sad.'
Some people also raised the question of why didn't no reporter present followed up with Noem's response.
Responding to Jean-Pierre, Gov Noem 'highlighted' the failures of President Biden and advised the White House spokeswoman to take some lessons from South Dakota as they are 'ranked #1 in mental health by US News.'
Earlier this month, Noem signed a bill that bans transgender female athletes from participating in girls' or women's school sports. "This bill's about fairness. It's about allowing biological females... to compete fairly on a level playing field that gives them opportunities for success," Noem said at the time about the law.