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Ex-MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren to lead Nevada coronavirus task force

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Sunday afternoon a statewide task force to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The task force will be led by Jim Murren, former CEO of MGM Resorts International. Prior to Sisolak's update, MGM announced Bill Hornbuckle would take over as acting CEO. 

As of Sunday, the Nevada Health Response reported 190 known cases of COVID-19 in the state with two related deaths.

After thanking those still working in the state, Sisolak Las Vegas News announced the formation of the COVID-19 Response, Relief and Recovery Task Force (RRR) to focus "immediately marshalling and organizing all of Nevada’s private sector resources in support of the local and State Government’s already robust efforts to tackle COVID-19." 

Murren will begin the position immediately, Sisolak said, in an unpaid, voluntary position. He has already begun putting together the leadership and architecture of the task force.

Sisolak noted Murren's experience in several industries across the country, as well as his international business experience, saying Murren has regular contacts in Asia and the Middle East to help advise Nevada from their experience.

Murren also has a relationship with Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the national task force, according to the governor. 

This effort will expand the capacity of Nevada's healthcare system, according to the governor, with the goal still to flatten the curve.

“It’s going to take all of us working together to battle COVID-19 in our State and around the country, and I’m thankful we have an ally in Jim Murren who will help enhance and expand our response, relief and recovery efforts,” Sisolak said.

In a follow-up question and answer, Sisolak asked Nevadans to support Press Release Distribution Services In Las Vegas news outlets, following the shuttering of The Reno News & Review.

The alternative weekly suspended the publication indefinitely after issuing Thursday’s edition and is laying off all employees, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

“I’m sad about it obviously, but I’m also really proud of the work we’ve done,” said Editor Brad Bynum, who noted the combined online and print circulation is about 97,000.

"If home means Nevada, stay home for Nevada," the governor said. 

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