Sisolak writes Pence protesting Trump rallies as state ponders easing restrictions on gatherings

By: - September 16, 2020 2:07 pm

(Photo: Daniel Clark)

(Photo: Daniel Clark)

Nevada’s fight to gain control of the coronavirus is “heading in the right direction,” says Gov. Steve Sisolak, who joined state officials on a regularly scheduled conference call regarding the pandemic and announced an “evaluation is ongoing” of restrictions on large gatherings. 

The state is averaging slightly more than 200 new cases of COVID-19 a day. Just under 75,000 cases have been confirmed in Nevada and 1,495 people have died.  

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to make some recommendations in the very, very near future,” he said, adding the size of church gatherings and business meetings is on the table.

The governor called the roll out process of larger gatherings a “natural next step of how we learn to live with this pandemic in our state.” 

When asked about an upcoming NASCAR race, Sisolak advised the media to wait and see “what the mitigation task force comes up with in the next couple days.”

At the same time, Sisolak warned that recent large gatherings such as rallies held by President Donald Trump will likely cause an increase in cases. He said that he, along with Attorney General Aaron Ford, are exploring their options for potential action against Douglas County, which allowed one of the rallies to proceed. 

In a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, Sisolak asked what the federal government is doing to support Nevadans, who deserve better from the Trump administration than the “President’s blatant disregard and lack of accountability for his own administration’s professional medical advice…”   

“I urge the administration to consider both the health and economic consequences of this type of unsanctioned mass gatherings and would appreciate better collaboration in the future,” Sisolak wrote to Pence.

Sisolak said every county that received CARES Act funds, including Douglas County, which received $8.9 million, executed an agreement to abide by state directives on COVID-19.  

The City of Henderson received $29.6 million in pandemic assistance from Clark County, which was granted money directly from the federal government. The city was also the site of a Trump rally.  

Asked how Trump’s self-described downplaying of the pandemic hampered Nevada’s response, Sisolak said he wanted to be as “open and transparent as we can with all our residents when we’re asking for their help. People want to know the truth.  They can handle the truth. I wish we had federal partners who thought they could.”

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Dana Gentry
Dana Gentry

Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, two grandsons, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.