By Brooke Seipel
The host of President Trump’s indoor campaign rally in Nevada on Sunday has been fined $3,000 for defying state guidelines prohibiting large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.
CNN reports that Xtreme Manufacturing, which allowed the Trump campaign to use one of its facilities, is accused of six coronavirus violations and has been issued a penalty.
“During the event, a compliance officer observed six violations of the directives and the City’s Business Operations Division has issued a Business License Notice of Violation to Xtreme Manufacturing and assessed a penalty of $3,000,” Henderson, Nev. senior public information officer Kathleen Richards told CNN.
The Trump campaign used temperature checks on guests and handed out face masks for all rally-goers, though there was no requirement for the crowd to wear them. The venue also had hand sanitizers available for use.
According to The Nevada Independent, the owner of Xtreme Manufacturing, Don Ahern, said on Monday it was his “patriotic duty to do what is right for our country, and what is right is supporting President Donald J. Trump.”
“My goal was to continue that great American traditions of the right to assemble and to free speech,” Ahern said. “No different than the thousands that are allowed to assemble at gaming tables, maskless pool parties, and protests across the street.”
According to the Independent, the $3,000 fine is made up of six $500 fines for six alleged violations: employees or customers not wearing masks; floor plan and seating arrangement that failed to allow for social distancing; an event that caused more than 50 people to gather; common areas left open where people are likely to congregate; lack of notices posted about mask and social distancing requirements; and a live event held with spectators without approval from the Department of Business and Industry, Division of Industrial Relations.
The rally on Sunday faced criticism for those who said it was dangerous to hold such a large indoor gathering as the coronavirus pandemic sees U.S. deaths creeping toward 200,000.
But the Trump campaign fiercely defended the rally on Sunday. “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,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told reporters.
By Brooke Seipel