It is said that surgeons retire when their hands start to shake, but at 69 years old, Dr. Fred Simon wants to shake as many hands across the state of Nevada in his run to unseat Governor Steve Sisolak. As a trauma surgeon, Dr. Simon is trained to think on his feet and act quickly to save lives. He promises to use his professional and business skills to fix and save Nevada.
In an interview with The Globe, Dr. Simon was preparing for four events that afternoon in Northern Nevada and had just returned from Clark County in a 40-foot bus with his name on it.
When describing himself and his life experience, Dr. Simon says,
“I am a trauma surgeon who ran a major trauma center. I am an Intensivist. I left my practice to run a Covid clinic in 2020. I did this to help people. I did this to help my profession. I am a medical legal expert and have testified in 100s of cases. I own a restaurant in Douglas county, a car dealership and I am an investor in both private and commercial real estate. A majority of my tenants could not qualify for a loan. But, I helped them. I am an advocate to help people, but I am not an advocate of entitlement.
I have no prejudice. During my residency I volunteered on a Navajo Indian Reservation and I have volunteered in black and hispanic communities. All unique communities with unique issues. I have first-hand experience of the challenges and problems in healthcare and I know how to fix it.
I will work with anyone who wants to work–who is a capable and good human being. Whether you are black, white, hispanic, asian, republican, democrat, gay or straight, we are all Americans and human beings who want a good life.
I am well prepared on the issues–the history, the trends, and opinions on both sides. I act quickly as a trauma surgeon. Doctors don’t sit around and pontificate or people die.”
The main issues facing Nevadans are education, the economy, healthcare and crime. Dr. Simon sees these issues as interrelated. With each of these issues, there is systemic corruption, a lack of political will, and accountability–“a word that has been lost in society”, says Dr. Simon.
“There is corruption in healthcare, education, and government. I am not going to be bought and I don’t need money or power.
My whole life I have been an advocate for everybody. No one can ever show I have prejudice. As a leader in the operating room or in business, I empower those who I work with.
When Fred Simon is Governor, if you are working for the government, I will demand you perform at your best level. We will not stand for substandard work.
Healthcare is a business. Education is a business. Government should be run like a business. Don’t play games with Fred Simon.”
Dr. Simon claims he is a data and information candidate and rattled off a series of statistics in Nevada’s failing education system:
“Nevada’s education system is 50 out of 50 with a $5 billion dollar budget. Education is designed to prepare children to provide for themselves and for their future.
Forty percent of graduates are incapable of doing basic work. When they graduate and get their first job, they need remedial training by their employer.
With that said, why are we removing trades from the curriculum? Quit pushing college. We need trades, trades and trades. So when a kid graduates high school, he can go to work and start a family. A solid education will allow kids the freedom to choose.
Over 30% of Pell grant students need to take a remedial course to enter college.
This population needs an indigent program and it is a 10 year turn-around program. We will reverse this generational course and turn around a whole generation who can then provide for and then push forward the next generation for success. I have testified at hundreds of school board meetings. I have met with parents and teachers, administrators and board members. We all need to get on the train and do the right thing for students and parents.
Thirteen percent of Nevadans are homeschooling their children. The tipping point is 10% and then the wave builds. We are seeing it now. We have billions of dollars of funds for public education, yet parents are working and homeschooling and they are successful. Why should the system get the money for the children that are being homeschooled? [We need to] fashion education according to the needs and wants of the parents and children. The system needs to be run like a business.
I can give $10,000 to parents as reimbursement. Where do I get that money? From the budget. In education we must have competition and school choice by the parent and the child. Children are often overlooked but are full of ideas. As Governor, why should I keep giving all the money to Clark County when they are 50 out of 50 and a double-digit percentage of students are being home schooled?
A couple of teachers approached me at an event the other day and asked me what I thought about the teachers union. I replied, ‘what do you think about the union?’ With that, the teachers said it was ‘ok.’ I then them how much they paid for school supplies last year and the teacher said, $6000! I said, ‘Why isn’t your union helping you with those costs? Millions of dollars filter through the union, why are you paying for school supplies?’
We have layer upon layer of administration. In American history these layers lead to corruption and loss of funds. These people need to be held accountable. If you think Covid is a state emergency then education is in a state of emergency. Kids, parents and teachers are getting ripped off. There is too much trust in people who repeat the same thing over and over again and do nothing about the problem but enrich themselves.
We must now demand accountability of the union, superintendents and school boards. Handle the money correctly and educate the kids at a level they can perform to provide for their family.”
Speaking of corruption, when asked how he would fix it, Simon replied:
“First we talk about it. People don’t have the courage to talk about tough issues. Politicians don’t want to talk about it because the repercussions are severe. But we have to talk about it and send a message that we are going after corruption and those who are facilitating it.
Second, we build coalitions. I am pretty good at that. Mayors, Councils, individuals. We empower local and county government. When you have strong local government, you empower the governor. Not the other way around. What we have now is a governor with all the power and look at how that is working out. It’s not.
Each county is special in itself and has its own needs. Local government is key. Building coalitions, proper legal advice and a strong Sheriff and Attorney General. I can expose the corruption and they can prosecute.
We must also expose the criminal cartels who are running illicit drugs into our communities. We need strong sheriffs and prosecutors who are empowered and have the will to do so.”
In terms of Healthcare, Dr. Simon prescribes:
“Patients and physicians want to know that medical necessary care is going to be delivered every time, on time–by a trained practitioner treating a responsible payer who will pay an appropriate fee so that the practitioner will be available next time. Restoring the personal physician patient relationship with privacy is critical. Patients can choose a personalized insurance plan across state lines with treatment affordability and transparency of prices.”
The first thing Dr. Simon would do as governor?
The day I am elected, I am going to tell legislature to have a voter id bill on my desk with verified signature or I will not sign another bill including a budget. 77% of Democrat voters want voter id. I will veto everything and wont sign bills until we fix the most important issue for the state of Nevada and that issue is election integrity.
The county clerks must have the voter rolls clean. That must be done more than once. If there is a problem with human or capital resources to get this done, I will give them economic resources from all the money that has gone into a failed education system. If need be, I will enlist private contractors to assist.
If you don’t have integrity in your state elections, in healthcare, business or education you are a dysfunctional society.
The constitution works very well and we will use it as a guide. When I am elected by Nevadan’s, they will know that I will do the right thing for the majority and with integrity every time.”
On the lagging Nevada economy, Dr. Simon assesses: “We are overdeveloping in the rurals and in the urban areas. We need to stop inviting in massive corporate development until we take care of the citizens who are here now. Now is not the time. We need to get our education system in order. We have the second highest unemployment rate yet small businesses can’t find employees to stay open. We optimize what we have. We stop the money flow which encourages people not to work.”
The interview with Dr. Simon was a generous 70 minutes as he surgically cut through the issues with precision–providing diagnosis and treatments in rapid and punctuated detail. As it was time for him to make his way to an event in Reno, Dr. Simon stressed:
“There isn’t a candidate that has more disciplinary experiences. I am well-educated and I am a leader. This is what the state needs now. I have three children and 65% of my employees in my restaurant are teenagers and I can make their lives better. Politicians claim they can and they haven’t. I am relentless and I never stop. I am uniquely qualified to be governor.”
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