State Watch

Nevada governor: ‘Unconscionable’ for Trump to suggest Reno’s COVID-19 surge unit ‘fake’

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) on Tuesday issued a scathing statement after President Trump suggested in a tweet that a Reno hospital’s overflow coronavirus unit in a parking garage was “fake.”

Trump retweeted an account called, which claimed that the picture of a doctor inside the hospital setup was “fake” because patients were not visible and unused beds were in the background.

“Fake election results in Nevada, also!” Trump tweeted, an apparent reference to him losing the state to President-elect Joe Biden last month.

“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,” Sisolak wrote.

The governor said Trump’s comments were “unconscionable” during a public health crisis.

“Every day, their health care workers mask up, go to work, and care for Nevadans most in need,” he wrote. “They too live in fear of becoming infected and brining 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.”

The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment. 

Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno converted its parking garage this month into a makeshift hospital to assist additional COVID-19 patients.

The $10 million project, which took 10 days to complete, is fully equipped with all of the beds, devices and supplies needed to treat coronavirus patients who are clinically stable or improving.

The image in question was posted on Sunday by Jacob Keeperman, an emergency room doctor working his first clinical week inside the location.

He thanked staff working to help patients and wrote that “everyone is struggling to keep their head-up” after five people died within 32 hours.

Keeperman told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he was “absolutely stunned” to see Trump’s tweet.

“I thought that my initial tweet was intended to truly be a thank you to all the health care workers, all of my teammates,” Keeperman said. “I want to say it’s unbelievable to me how something like that can be polarized and politicized.”

The doctor said the picture in the hospital garage was “taken the day we were opening that space, just prior to the first patient arriving.”

He also knocked the other Twitter account, which suggested that the image was manipulated since no people were visible, saying he would never take a photograph of a patient.

As of Tuesday morning, Keeperman told the newspaper that there were 44 COVID-19 patients in the garage.

“It is not fake,” the doctor said of his photo. “It is very real.”

Tags 2020 presidential election Battleground states Coronavirus coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 hospital Donald Trump healthcare workers icu Joe Biden Nevada Nevada Reno Steve Sisolak

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