Sisolak says Trump’s suggestion to slow COVID-19 testing ‘not helpful’

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Gov. Steve Sisolak gets emotional during a Phase 1 reopening update news conference, Friday, May 15, 2020.

Mon, Jun 22, 2020 (11:24 a.m.)

President Donald Trump is walking back comments he made over the weekend calling for a slowdown in testing for the coronavirus.

At a campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla., Trump proclaimed, “When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases. So, I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down, please.’”

Officials in the Trump administration said today the President was only “kidding.”

So far, nearly 120,000 people have died of the virus.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak told Vice President Mike Pence on a call this morning with the White House COVID task force that testing remains important as the state reopens the economy, especially to visitors.

“The President’s comments on Saturday night as related to his order to slow down the testing is certainly not helpful,” Sisolak said, according to a transcript of the call released from his office.

“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,” Sisolak said.

Sisolak last week asked his medical advisory team to provide recommendations regarding “enhanced” face mask policies. For now, people are encouraged to wear masks in public, but there are no blanket statewide requirements.

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