ICYMI: Las Vegas Sun Ed Board Praises Gov. Steve Sisolak For Striking the Right Note On Pandemic Response
“Steady as she goes: That’s the best route back to normal.”
The Las Vegas Sun Editorial Board praised Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak for his responsible leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and for staying the course on his science-driven response, unlike Republican governors in nearby states.
Gov. Sisolak is leading Nevada through a safe pandemic recovery by championing masks and other mitigation efforts that keep infection rates low, while also rapidly scaling up the state’s vaccination effort. As a result of Gov. Sisolak’s steady leadership, students are returning to in-person school, business is picking up at bars and restaurants, and limited-capacity crowds are returning to Las Vegas’s most iconic sites.
Gov. Sisolak’s cautious approach to recovery is paying off. A poll recently conducted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal shows a majority of Nevada voters approve of Gov. Sisolak’s leadership during the pandemic and recovery.
Republican governors, on the other hand, are unnecessarily putting countless lives at risk by ignoring health experts, lifting mask mandates, and putting politics before public safety. The editorial board contrasted Nevada to Texas, where Republican Gov. Greg Abbott rescinded his mask mandate against the advice of public health officials. “Where would you want to travel for business, or take your family on vacation — those places or Las Vegas, with its ongoing safety precautions?”
Read more about Gov. Steve Sisolak’s responsible leadership below.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is staying the course in guiding the state’s pandemic recovery, which is commendable. His administration’s cautious, science-based approach has begun yielding results, and now we’re set to bounce back more quickly if we stick with it.
In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Sisolak sounded exactly the right note in saying that safety would be paramount for Las Vegas in bringing back conventions, trade shows and crowds of visitors.
“Mark my words: Nevada will be the safest place to have a convention or to come and visit,” Sisolak told the AP. “It will be safe for the tourists; it will be safe for the hotel operators and for employees and their families. It will be safe for the visitors and for the residents.”
Contrast that to Texas and other states whose governors have discontinued mask mandates, capacity restrictions for businesses, etc. Where would you want to travel for business, or take your family on vacation — those places or Las Vegas, with its ongoing safety precautions?
Granted, plenty of people are experiencing pandemic fatigue, and may decide to travel to states with loosened restrictions. But Nevada shouldn’t compete for those tourists by lowering our guard. Yes, we may lose out on some travel business in the short term, but keeping our protections in place is good for our hospitable reputation and is vital for the well-being of our own population.
Plus, we’re making progress on all fronts. The statewide vaccination effort is off and running, our infection rate is down and, if everything goes as planned, we’ll enter a new phase of relaxed restrictions next week when most businesses are allowed to expand to 50% capacity. That’s up from the current level of 35%, which went into place Feb. 15. As of March 1, crowds of 20% capacity were allowed at large venues such as T-Mobile Arena.
Since then, we’ve seen schools reopen for in-class instruction for pre-K to third-grade students, spectators return to sports — such as the crowd of 12,500 this past weekend for NASCAR racing — and business pick up at bars and restaurants. Yet our infections have stayed at a relatively low level, proving that with the right precautions remaining in place, we can take safe steps forward.
Unfortunately, some critics in public leadership and in the media quickly became impatient with the restrictions and chose to vilify him, accusing him of abusing his emergency powers in pursuit of some sort of liberal/socialist agenda to subvert individual freedoms and expand the authority of the state government.
Wrong. Sisolak was merely acting on the advice of public health officials, the same as he’s doing now.
As those experts know, what’s happening in Texas and other states that are throwing caution to the wind is incredibly dangerous and irresponsible — it could touch off a fourth wave of the virus, or help give rise to variants that have already begun infecting Americans.
Nevada, as it did early on by closing its doors and then reopening them slowly, is making the right call in not following the lead of those states. Instead, we’ll continue to ease restrictions methodically while carefully watching our numbers of infections.
“It’s going to be safer for everybody because we’re going to continue to have our numbers improve,” Sisolak told the AP. “We’re going to vaccinate as many people as we possibly can. And we’ll continue to open our economy back up.”
Steady as she goes: That’s the best route back to normal.