In a virtual press conference this morning, Governor Steve Sisolak cited “science” to immediately suspend the mask mandate in Nevada. Although Sisolak lifted the mask mandates, Sisolak refuses to relinquish his emergency powers and directives, telling Victor Joecks of the Las Vegas Review Journal that “The emergency is not over.”
After his announcement, members of the press and GOP candidates questioned the scientific basis for his mask mandate by highlighting scientific data.
Yesterday, Joecks tweeted the data:
When @GovSisolak re-imposed a mask mandate, the 14-day average of cases was around 1,100. As he (reportedly) removes the mandate tomorrow, the average will likely be around 1,300.
— Victor Joecks (@VictorJoecks) February 10, 2022
In statements to The Globe, GOP gubernatorial hopefuls took Sisolak to task:
“The rescinding of his mask mandate is once again not based in science and is merely a reflection of the horrible polling Democrats are seeing. Sisolak’s decision is driven by politics as the daily infection rate numbers are worse now than they were when he instituted his nonsensical mask mandate.
Steve Sisolak knows he’s going down and going down in a big way, the only question is will his liberal accomplice Joe Lombardo also be installed using the mail in ballots that Sisolak used to retain his control and steal the election from Donald Trump, who won Nevada in a landslide.”
“By waiting to remove the mask mandate until other Democrat governors did so, Sisolak revealed his complete lack of ability to make timely decisions that are in the best interest of Nevadans. When I’m governor, I will ensure that Nevada is always a consistent leader in implementing good policy for the betterment of our children, families, businesses, and safety, instead of just following the policies of other states.”
“It seems like Sisolak and Lombardo have learned that mandates are bad politics. They have made our police officers and children into political bargaining chips. I’m running for governor because we need someone who doesn’t only care about your freedoms in election years.”
“Several months ago I said ‘Governor Sisolak, tear down your mandates.’ Today Governor Sisolak torn them down because of the polls not the science. He’s following his buddy Gavin Newsom.”
Dr. Fred Simon:
“I have shared literature across the state of Nevada for months–to get Nevada out of masks. Where is the science in return? The citizens have the right to the literature to support this decision. Yet, ANOTHER opinion of the Governor. This is medical quackery and political corruption. Sisolak must provide the scientific written literature for this decision.”
In public statements and press releases, other GOP candidates joined in the chorus:
Sigal Chattah, candidate for Attorney General:
“I know the “political science” hasn’t changed on this since my motion to end the mandates was denied on December 22, 2021. Nevadans MUST fight these unconstitutional mandates based on sham propaganda!”
John Lee, gubernatorial candidate and North Las Vegas Mayor:
“Too little, too late. The damage is done. President Biden and his buddy Steve Sisolak put our families and businesses through torture and torment with hyper-political COVID closures and lockdowns. Them spiking the football on ending mandates is like burning someone’s house down, then taking credit for calling the fire department once you’re left with a pile of ashes. They didn’t follow the science. President Biden and his friend Governor Sisolak made mandate decisions based on political science. Only until the mess they made became politically unpopular did they decide to change course.”
Dean Heller, former Nevada Senator and gubernatorial candidate:
“In a crisis, a true leader shows up, charts a course of action, communicates it, and follows through with it. Steve Sisolak embodies the opposite of that approach. By following behind Gavin Newsom and other blue-state leaders, Sisolak has demonstrated yet again that he is not worthy of Nevada’s trust. It’s time for real, proven leadership in Nevada and as Governor, that’s what I’ll deliver.”
Adam Laxalt, Former Nevada Attorney General and U.S Senate Candidate digs into the Sisolak science and his opponent, Catherine Cortez Masto, on Twitter:
Let’s be clear…the science hasn’t changed.
The political science has.
Let’s dig into that “science” that Democrats are suddenly abandoning… https://t.co/crbwiXO3LE
— Adam Paul Laxalt (@AdamLaxalt) February 10, 2022
Adding fuel to the fire, Gov. Sisolak and other Nevada Democrats who supported the mask mandates–like Tick Segerblom, Justin Jones, Susie Lee and Jackie Rosen—were caught defying the mandate several times in photographs showing them maskless at public events. As reported by The Globe, Segerblom is under an active investigation by OSHA for not wearing his mask at a Clark County Commission meeting.
Outside of the political firing squad and the terrible optics, the Nevada state government and Nevada Health Department numbers lend support to Sisolak’s critics. According to their data, in 2020, COVID-19 killed 3,000 Nevadans. Since December 2020, 3 million vaccine doses were administered and 57% of Nevadan adults are now considered “fully vaccinated.” By the end of 2021, Nevada officials reported more than 5,300 new COVID-19 deaths in 2021– a 175% increase over 2020. Nevada stands at 276 deaths per 100,000 people since the beginning of January 2020.
By comparison, Florida has experienced 120 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people. Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, ended the locks downs and mask mandates early on in 2020 and never turned back. Florida allowed folks to take Hydroxychloroquine. This year, Gov. Ron DeSantis set up outpatient clinics to administer monoclonal antibody treatments to those infected by the virus. In response, the Biden administration blocked any further distribution of monoclonal antibody treatments to Florida in the name of equity.
Joecks highlights the GOP narrative in a simple tweet:
— Victor Joecks (@VictorJoecks) February 10, 2022
As Nevadan’s remove their masks, will they remember come November during the midterm election? By their rhetoric, Democratic candidates are banking on short memories, while GOPers hope they never forget.
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