Healthcare

Nevada governor faces violent threats at Vegas restaurant

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) faced violent threats from at least two men who spewed misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic and threatened to hang him at a Las Vegas-area restaurant over the weekend.

In a cellphone video obtained and published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a man could be seen briefly putting his arm around Sisolak and asking if he was the governor.

“This is amazing,” the man said. “I can’t tell you what a piece of f—ing shit you are.”

“Sorry to hear that,” Sisolak replied, stepping away.

Sisolak and his wife began to walk away. The first man repeatedly asked Sisolak where his security was, while another man began to yell about a far-right conspiracy theory regarding a medicine that does not help treat the coronavirus.

“Wait till we find all the money that flowed his way,” the second man said. “Yeah, hiding the hydroxychloroquine.”

At the same time, the first man accused Sisolak of being a part of the New World Order, another far-right conspiracy theory with roots in antisemitism, and of working for China. The two men followed the Sisolaks outside as they left the restaurant.

“We should string you up by a lamppost right now,” the second man screamed. “You know what they do to traitors? They hang traitors.”

The Review-Journal reported that the incident appeared to take place at a Mexican restaurant west of the Las Vegas Strip.

In a statement Monday, Sisolak’s campaign spokesperson denounced the violent rhetoric.

“This behavior is unwarranted, racist, and un-Nevadan,” Sisolak campaign spokesperson Reeves Oyster said. “Words have consequences — and the GOP field should be horrified that their rhetoric is encouraging violence. Anything less than a denunciation is condoning this behavior and encouraging it to continue.”

Elected officials at all levels have faced an increase in violent threats in the years since the coronavirus pandemic forced lockdowns and emergency orders shuttered businesses. U.S. Capitol Police have reported exponentially higher threats against members of Congress, and elections officials reported a surge in threats following the 2020 elections.

Governors also have faced an increase in violent threats. Several men were arrested after plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in 2020. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said in 2020 that she and her daughters had received threatening calls. That same year, a Kentucky man was arrested after making violent threats against Gov. Andy Beshear (D).

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Gretchen Whitmer Las Vegas Michelle Lujan Grisham Nevada Steve Sisolak

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