Nevada Governor responds to President Trump’s stated effort to “slow the testing down” in call with Vice President Pence

Associate Nevada Justice James Hardesty administers the oath of office to Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak on January 7, 2019 - image - The Sierra Nevada Ally

Today, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak spoke directly to Vice President Mike Pence on a COVID-19 taskforce call with governors about comments made by President Trump over the weekend regarding spikes in the number of new COVID-19 cases. At a campaign rally in Oklahoma on Saturday, President Trump said he told his “people” to slow the testing down for the deadly virus. 

As shelter-in-place restrictions are cautiously relaxed and more businesses open, there have been spikes in the number of COVID-19 cases in locations across the nation, to include Nevada. 

In direct contrast to the President’s reasoning, according to Governor Sisolak and Nevada Health Response officials, testing is a critical component to Nevada’s Roadmap to Recovery reopening plan.

The state has expanded testing recently to include those not exhibiting symptoms in a effort to more vigorously root out the virus. An increase in positive cases is not unexpected under enhanced testing regimes.

Increased testing helps determine the spread of the virus in the community and gives state and local public health operations critical information to pursue aggressive measures to help monitor and respond to outbreaks. 

The following is a transcript from the Governor’s remarks on the call with Vice President Pence:

“The President’s comments on Saturday night as related to his order to slow down the testing is certainly not helpful. We are doing everything we can in Nevada to increase our testing, to increase the availability of the testing and our cases have gone up, it’s not solely a result of more testing, it’s also a result of people not wearing masks and not following the social protocols. So if we could all get on the same page and get a commitment that there is not a federal mandate to slow down testing I think it would be extremely helpful,” Governor Sisolak said to Vice President Pence.”

To learn more about Nevada’s response to COVID-19, visit nvhealthresponse.nv.gov.