Las Vegas Sun

May 17, 2021

Currently: 64° — Complete forecast

where I stand:

Murren: Turn to Biden to put US on path forward, bridge divisiveness

This is my last column before Election Day 2020. It is important that I do all that I can to encourage Nevadans to vote, and to vote for America by electing Joe Biden. But Sun readers already know where I stand — I have been clear about that for a very long time.

Today, I am publishing two columns that I believe are very important for all Nevadans to read. The first is by my friend Jim Murren, who everyone knows was the longtime CEO of MGM Resorts International until earlier this year, when, following his retirement, he was chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to help lead Nevada’s coronavirus response and recovery effort.

Jim’s efforts on behalf of Nevadans have been outstanding. He is a man who enjoys statewide credibility, and so should his words.

The other column is also written by a dear friend of over 55 years. His name is Bill Clinton and he needs no introduction to Nevadans.

When Bill ran for president in 1992 and 1996, Nevadans bought into his vision and gave him their support. And by all accounts, the Clinton administration was a time of economic growth, civility, international agreements and comity throughout the country.

He, too, has some thoughts that I believe all Nevadans should read and give attention to as we did when he asked for our votes 28 years ago. He told us the truth then and he is telling it straight today.

I commend his words to our readers and all voters.

— Brian Greenspun

My family moved to Las Vegas expecting only to stay for a year or two, at most. Twenty-two years later, we wouldn’t call anywhere else home.

In our time here, I’ve had a front-row seat to triumphs and tragedies in our community, and I’ve seen Nevadans’ courage, humanity and unity in times of profound devastation — 9/11, the Great Recession and the Oct. 1 shooting.

Now, I see those same strengths coming forth as we face one of the most widespread challenges of all, the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, I made the decision to retire from the company I love, MGM Resorts International. It was certainly a large transition, but it left me available to take on a new personal challenge when Gov. Steve Sisolak asked me to lead the Nevada COVID-19 Response, Relief and Recovery Task Force to help the state respond to this unprecedented crisis.

As the virus spread to our nation, an alarm was sounded and Nevadans of all industries and all political parties answered the call. Together, we located hundreds of thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment that were in short supply and high demand. We built a statewide contact-tracing system and dramatically expanded access to virus testing to reach the people of Nevada. We provided internet access and supplies for remote learning to children who were forced to stay at home — no matter how remote they were. And when the pandemic began to become politicized, we focused on the common goal of providing for the safety of our fellow Nevadans above all else.

But the fight against COVID-19 cannot be won by individual cities or even states alone, no matter how much they follow Nevada’s lead and work as one. Only when we operate together as a nation can we hope to conquer this virus and to heal the wounds of our country.

As we approach a watershed election for our nation, Joe Biden stands as the leader who will work to bridge our divisions and move us forward cooperatively.

I know Joe Biden, and I can say without one doubt that he and Kamala Harris will provide the constructive, bipartisan-minded leadership we need to overcome this crisis.

The former vice president has a comprehensive plan for tackling coronavirus, and I assure you that he will listen to and empower experts around him. He has a lifetime of experience working across the aisle to solve problems, and his work with President Barack Obama on the nation’s recovery from the recession helps position him as the ideal leader to rebuild our pandemic-ravaged economy.

The Nevada I know is already rich in diversity that contributes to our shared experiences and makes us stronger. Joe promotes and has spent his entire political career encouraging inclusiveness and championing the way it improves our businesses and our communities.

A Biden/Harris administration will also put Nevada on track to emerge from the coronavirus stronger than we were before, by taking better advantage of some of our state’s most valuable assets.

Nevada is abundant in our ability to harness clean energy for jobs, and it is unparalleled in our hospitality as the entertainment capital of the world. We need to put into motion the plan for a high-speed rail to California, broadening access for tourism and jobs. We must bring the Las Vegas Loop to the Strip and continue to make improvements to the airport and to our highways. Joe’s infrastructure plan to build back better will help us achieve this.

We can also make Nevada a health capital. We should encourage private-sector investment and health facilities, promote medical tourism and stimulate biomedical research. We must invest in medical and educational facilities — the UNLV School of Medicine is a prime example — to restore our economy, improve our quality of life, and never again be held hostage to out-of-state companies for our health care. Joe’s focus on improving the nation’s health care system can help us strengthen and expand what we have in Nevada.

I’ve learned so much in my time here from so many men and women, and most especially the legendary founder of MGM, Kirk Kerkorian, for whom I was honored to work for 17 years. He was a visionary, an American hero, an extraordinary philanthropist to our community, and he taught us the importance of being courageous and unified in the face of adversity.

Joe Biden also has a vision, and knows how strong America can be when we work together. He will deliver in areas Nevada needs the most — on health care, infrastructure and employment.

We’ve seen how the division of this current administration is hurting our state. With Biden and Harris in the White House, we can start fixing the damage from the past four years and move into a brighter future.