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Las Vegas issues $250 fine against host of large Trump event

August 7, 2020 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The city of Las Vegas has issued a civil penalty against a hotel for hosting a faith-based campaign event for President Donald Trump that violated a mandate intended to limit the spread of COVID-19 despite warnings from city and state officials.

The event proceeded as planned Thursday in Las Vegas despite Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s mandate, which limits gatherings to no more than 50 people in an indoor or outdoor area.

The Evangelicals for Trump event was headlined by Trump’s personal pastor Paula White, and brought together more than 500 people at the Ahern Hotel. The hotel lobby’s maximum occupancy is more than 1,600, organizers said.

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Masks were required, temperature checks were conducted and a sign ordered anyone feeling ill to go home.

The events’ organizers and owner Don Ahern were issued the notice from the city’s business licensing department, which included a $250 civil fine, spokesman Jace Radke said.

The Trump campaign maintained that hotels are allowed to hold events at 50% occupancy and are not subject to the 50-person event cap placed on churches and other venues.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, but studies suggest people can also be infected with the virus without feeling sick. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.