President Donald Trump on Sunday defied Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and held an indoor rally in the city of Henderson, just southeast of Las Vegas.
The president touched on Sisolak’s opposition to the rally.
“You have a governor right now who is a political hack,” he told the crowd.
“And tell your governor to open up your state, by the way. Open up your state,” Trump added.
On Saturday, Sisolak had tweeted that the rally could bring disaster to the 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,” the governor tweeted Saturday.
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.
— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) September 14, 2020
“President Donald Trump is taking reckless and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada,” Sisolak said in a series of tweets. “The President appears to have forgotten that this country is still in the middle of a global pandemic.”
Trump used Sisolak as a foil when he wrapped up the rally by telling his supporters not to worry if the Democratic governor tries to punish those who attended the event.
“If the governor comes after you, which he shouldn’t be doing, I’ll be with you all the way. I’ll be with you all the way. Don’t worry about a thing,” he said.
The rally was held in defiance of a warning from Henderson officials.
“The City of Henderson has issued a compliance letter and verbal warning to the event organizer that the event as planned would be in direct violation of the governor’s COVID-19 emergency directives. Specifically, gatherings of more than 50 people in a private or public setting is prohibited,” Henderson spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said in a statement, according to CNN.
“Large live events must be approved by the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, Division of Industrial Relations and at this time, the City has not been notified that this event has been approved. The City may assess a fine of up to $500 per violation of the governor’s directives as well as suspend or revoke the business license.”
A Trump campaign spokesman fired back.
“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 First Amendment to hear from the president of the United States,” spokesman Tim Murtaugh said, according to The Hill.
Attendees were given masks and underwent temperature screenings, according to the Trump campaign.
Attendees said they could make their own decisions.
“This is our First Amendment, it’s my right to choose,” Filomena McGuigan, 60, told CNN.
“This is not a dictatorship, this is a republic. And we have a right to be who we are and take whatever risks we so desire,” she said.
Trump supporter Kyle Hackett, said, “I feel like that’s my freedom as an American” to attend, adding, “And if I catch COVID, that’s the consequences of my actions, so I’m willing to take that risk and have a good time today.”
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