President Donald Trump violated several of Nevada’s state health mandates Sunday evening, holding an in-person indoor campaign rally attended by thousands of his supporters, the vast majority of whom were not required to wear protective masks. Just before Trump took the stage, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) unleashed on the president in a vicious Twitter tirade calling him “reckless and selfish,” for putting “countless lives in danger.”
Under Nevada’s pandemic-related health restrictions, gatherings in the state are limited to a maximum of 50 people, a number that was surpassed many times over by rally attendees despite local authorities in Henderson warning the campaign verbally and in writing they were required to abide by Sisolak’s directives.
“The President appears to have forgotten that this country is still in the middle of a global pandemic,” the governor wrote in a lengthy Twitter thread. “Early on in this crisis, when it came time to exhibit real leadership and make difficult decisions to protect the American people, he failed to develop a unified national response strategy. To put it bluntly: he didn’t have the guts to make tough choices — he left that to governors and the states. Now he’s decided he doesn’t have to respect our State’s laws. As usual, he doesn’t believe the rules apply to him.”
Sunday night marked the president’s first indoor campaign rally since June, when the campaign held an event in Tulsa, Oklahoma that was later revealed to be the source of a major surge of new coronavirus cases within the state. Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain was hospitalized less than two weeks after the Tulsa rally, eventually succumbing to the disease in July.
Sisolak clearly did not want to see what happened in Tulsa be repeated in his own state.
“This is an insult to every Nevadan who has followed the directives, made sacrifices, and put their neighbors before themselves. It’s also a direct threat to all of the recent progress we’ve made, and could potentially set us back,” he wrote. “At a time when Nevada is focused on getting our economy back on track and protecting public health, the President’s actions this weekend are shameful, dangerous and irresponsible.”
In a statement released Monday, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said the campaign provided rally attendees with hand sanitizer and masks while also checking temperatures.
“If you can join tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets, gamble in a casino, or burn down small businesses in riots, you can gather peacefully under the 1st Amendment to hear from the President of the United States,” Murtaugh said.
During his speech, which lasted more than an hour, President Trump made several direct references to the governor, referring to him a “political hack” and promising to protect his supporters from any repercussions from violating his health directives.
“If the governor comes after you, which he shouldn’t be doing, I’ll be with you all the way,” Trump said.
[image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images]
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