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Chinese Americans in Las Vegas slam remarks by Nye County commissioner

Posted at 5:46 PM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 08:44:52-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — There are people insulted, angered, and frustrated by the comments of a local politician. A Nye County commissioner recently claimed Nevada’s First Lady is profiting off the pandemic because she has family in China.

Jia Mei Wang couldn’t believe her ears when she heard Nye County Commissioner Donna Cox make remarks about Nevada first lady Kathy Sisolak.

RELATED STORY: Nye County commissioner accuses Nevada governor's wife of profiting off masks

At a meeting earlier this month, Commissioner Cox made these comments:

“She is Chinese. And you put two and two together. They actually said that her family in China owns a company that's making a lot of money off this issue."

It was part of a wider discussion over Gov. Steve Sisolak’s mask mandate. Wang says she respects differing political opinions but believes the commissioner’s claims just aren’t true.

“They say. Who are they? Do you have any evidence or proof to spread rumors like that?” she said.

Kathy Sisolak was born in Nevada. Ely, specifically. She co-founded a financial consulting firm in the valley, with listed clients mainly coming from within the state.

“It’s not true that she would profit from all this. She has her own business and she’s been doing it for a long time,” Wang said.

Wang says when she and others with the Nevada Chinese Association donated masks and PPE to local hospitals at the beginning of the pandemic, Kathy Sisolak helped fundraise and spread the word of their efforts. She says Kathy played no part in purchasing anything as she had no contacts in China.

Wang finds the profiteering claims ridiculous and believes it fuels the idea that members of the AAPI community are perpetual foreigners.

“People shouldn’t categorize people because you came earlier, and I came later. You make comments about different countries and races and that’s just wrong.”

Wang says the comments are beneath someone who holds elected office and wants to see an apology.

“You don’t have anything to prove that you’re right. So, stop spreading rumors. You’re not a housewife. You’re an elected official,” she said.

13 Action News reached out to Cox for a response but we didn’t hear back by Wednesday's deadline. Gov. Sisolak, various AAPI groups, and the Nevada Senate Republicans have all condemned her remarks.