LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- President Donald Trump held a packed, indoor campaign rally in Henderson on Sunday night, defying the state's mitigation measures for COVID-19.
The City of Henderson issued a compliance letter and verbal warning to the venue hosting President Donald Trump's rally, according to a city spokeswoman.
In a statement, spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said the warnings alerted Xtreme Manufacturing that the event would be "in direct violation of the governor's COVID-19 emergency directives."
Not since a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that was blamed for a surge of coronavirus infections, has he gathered supporters indoors. There was no early mention from the president that the pandemic had killed nearly 200,000 Americans and was still claiming 1,000 lives a day.
It was not immediately known how many people were in attendance at the event in Henderson.
Few in the crowd Sunday night wore masks, with one clear exception: Those in the stands directly behind Trump, whose images would end up on TV, were mandated to wear face coverings.
Temperature checks were given to all upon entrance at the industrial site in Henderson and while masks were encouraged, few wore them.
“If you can join tens of thousands of people protesting in the streets, gamble in a casino, or burn down small businesses in riots, you can gather peacefully under the 1st Amendment to hear from the President of the United States,” campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told The Associated Press.
The directive in Nevada has limited gatherings to 50 people since May. The state is also following guidance provided from the White House.
"Large live events must be approved by the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, Division of Industrial Relations and at this time, the City has not been notified that this event has been approved. If the governor’s directives are not followed, the City may assess a fine of up to $500 per violation as well as suspend or revoke the business license," said Richards.
Gov. Steve Sisolak on Sunday night issued a statement saying the president is "taking reckless and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada." Read the rest of the statement below:
Despite reports from his own White House, despite local officials in Southern and Northern Nevada reiterating to the venues the existing restrictions in State emergency directives, tonight, the President of the United States is knowingly packing thousands of people into an indoor venue to hold a political rally.
The President appears to have forgotten that this country is still in the middle of a global pandemic. Early on in this crisis, when it came time to exhibit real leadership and make difficult decisions to protect the American people, he failed to develop a unified national response strategy. To put it bluntly: he didn’t have the guts to make tough choices -- he left that to governors and the states. Now he’s decided he doesn’t have to respect our State’s laws. As usual, he doesn’t believe the rules apply to him.
Instead, he came into our State and blatantly disregarded the emergency directives and tough choices made to fight this pandemic and begin reopening our economy by hosting an indoor gathering that’s categorized as “high risk” according to his own CDC. This is an insult to every Nevadan who has followed the directives, made sacrifices, and put their neighbors before themselves. It’s also a direct threat to all of the recent progress we’ve made, and could potentially set us back.
As Governor, I have worked with public health and infectious disease specialists to create emergency directives to protect public health and get our economy back on track. That means limiting gathering sizes, mandating face coverings and practicing social distancing. All of which the President recklessly disregarded for his own gain this weekend in Nevada.
At a time when Nevada is focused on getting our economy back on track and protecting public health, the President’s actions this weekend are shameful, dangerous and irresponsible.
I want to thank the local governments - like the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority and the City of Henderson - who have done all they could to ensure businesses and visitors follow the state COVID-19 directives.
Trump on Sunday morning held a socially distanced Latinos for Trump roundtable at Treasure Island. He spoke at the "Great American Comeback" rally at Xtreme Manufacturing at 7 p.m.
Xtreme Manufacturing is owned by local businessman Don Ahern, also chairman and CEO of Ahern Rentals and owner of the Ahern Hotel, formerly the Lucky Dragon. The hotel was fined more than $10,000 last month by the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration for hosting an "Evangelicals for Trump" event.
The Henderson facility has a page on its website with information on the company's COVID-19 response for employees and customers, including "We have restricted meetings and gatherings to no more than 10 people in large areas, and when possible, to attend meetings by telephone or video conferencing."
Trump was expected to leave Nevada for California on Monday morning. McCarran International Airport alerted drivers of potential road closures for the departure. An exact time was not provided.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.