- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak condemned President Trump for sharing a post on social media Tuesday from a Twitter account that claimed a coronavirus hospital set up in the state is “fake” and a “scam.”

Mr. Sisolak, a Democrat, slammed Mr. Trump in a statement issued shortly after the president shared and commented on a Twitter denying the existence of the makeshift hospital opened in Reno.

“I call on all leaders throughout Nevada – regardless of political affiliation – to join me in condemning the President’s attacks on the integrity of our healthcare workers,” Mr. Sisolak said.

Mr. Sisolak had previously retweeted a post Monday from a self-described EMS doctor who shared an image showing a so-called “alternative care site” recently built inside of a Reno parking garage.

That image was then shared by another Twitter account, @Networkinvegas, in the dismissive tweet that Mr. Trump subsequently boosted to his tens of millions of social media followers Tuesday morning.

“Here is the fake Nevada parking garage hospital picture that our moron governor tweeted, proving it’s all a scam,” the Vegas tweeted in the post Mr. Trump later pushed. “No patients, folded up beds, wrapped up equipment that’s never been used! They spent millions on this scam and never seen a single patient in this fake hospital!”

Mr. Trump retweeted that bogus claim along with his own comment rejecting the outcome of the recent presidential election in Nevada, which has been called for Democratic challenger Joseph R. Biden.

“Fake election results in Nevada, also!” Mr. Trump said in the tweet. Twitter has since placed a warning label on that post to say the president’s claim of election fraud is disputed.

Reacting in his statement, Mr. Sisolak accused the president of making nonstop attempts to politicize the novel coronavirus outbreak in the months since it started ravaging the U.S. and the world.

More than 260,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and Nevada and other states are currently experiencing a surge of cases, Mr. Sisolak noted.

Indeed, the alternative care site pictured in the tweet shared by Mr. Trump was opened by Renown Health in a parking garage recently to help deal with the increased number of coronavirus cases.

“His consistent misleading rhetoric on COVID-19 is dangerous and reckless, and today’s implication that Renown’s alternate care site is a ‘fake hospital’ is among the worst examples we’ve seen,” Mr. Sisolak said in the statement.

“It is unconscionable for him to continue to spread lies and sow distrust at a time when all Americans should be united during this historic public health crisis. Enough is enough,” he said.

Mr. Sisolak also called Renown “a pillar of strength” and said its medical professionals are not as the president depicted them.

“Every day, their health care workers mask up, go to work, and care for Nevadans most in need. They too live with the fear of becoming infected and bringing this virus back home to their families, yet they have sat at bedsides holding the hands of patients so they wouldn’t have to be alone. They aren’t liars, as the President implied — they are heroes,” Mr. Sisolak wrote.

Several other Nevada politicians have since added their voice in agreement.

Nevada state Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, a Republican, praised Renown and reminded constituents to “not lose sight of the fact this virus is killing our friends and neighbors, if not our family.”

“I stand with our healthcare heroes,” U.S. Rep Steve Horsford, Nevada Democrat, said in a tweet sharing the governor’s statement. “Thank you for your service.”

“Nevada’s frontline health workers are laying their lives on the line for our collective health,” echoed fellow Rep. Susie Lee, Nevada Democrat. “They deserve our complete appreciation and unwavering support, not conspiratorial cheap shots from the President. I stand with our workers.”

The account that posted the dismissive tweet, Networkinvegas, is associated with a Vegas-based website of the same name. The account has previously referred to the pandemic on Twitter as a “hoax.”

Renown told The Washington Times on Tuesday it is caring for a total of 206 patients with COVID-19, including 42 at its parking garage site who have moderate cases and do not require intensive care.

“We are transforming and implementing creative approaches to ensure patient care needs can be addressed and that we can meet the needs of our community,” said Tony Slonim, Renown’s president and CEO.

“Every community member can feel confident that Renown has a specialty-trained team of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, medical assistants, care managers, and physical and occupational therapists around the clock, every day to ensure that, no matter the illness or injury, every patient will be treated with compassion and the appropriate degree of care,” he said in a statement.

The White House did not immediately respond to a message requesting comment.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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