Las Vegas Mayor, Carolyn Goodman, was condemned by Nevada officials after she called for casinos and other non-essential businesses to reopen. She also suggested that the city could serve as a test case to measure the impact during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What We Know:
- Goodman did a 25-minute interview with CNN anchor, Anderson Cooper. She stated that she wants everything back open, including casinos, restaurants and small businesses, and a return of conventions.
- She suggested that “viruses for years have been here” and that Las Vegas citizens should become a control group to see how reopening non-essentials businesses would affect the city. She did not offer any guidance on how this could be done safely, saying, “That’s up to them to figure out,” and “I am not a private owner.”
- “I offered to be a control group and I was told by our statistician you can’t do that because people from all parts of southern Nevada come in to work in the city,” Goodman said. “We would love to be that placebo side so you have something to measure against.”
- Goodman has also spoken out against Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s orders of shuttering casinos and nonessential businesses, calling it “total insanity” that’s “killing Las Vegas”.
- Sisolak stated that he understands the economic impact due to the virus, but he believes that saving lives is more important.
- In a series of tweets, the Governor stated that the casinos are working with state gambling regulators to create safe ways to reopen but Nevada will be accepting visitors “when the time is right”.
- Goodman, 81, was elected in 2019 to serve a third and final term as mayor. She has no oversight of the casino-lined Las Vegas Strip because it is outside the city limits, though older downtown casinos near the Fremont Street district fall within its boundaries.
- She hesitated when asked if she would visit/enter a reopened casino, saying that she has a family, doesn’t gamble, and is very busy. She also dismissed a Chinese study cited by Cooper showing the spread of COVID-19 in a restaurant, saying, “This isn’t China, this is Las Vegas, Nevada.”
Statewide, 172 people have died of the disease and more than 4,000 have tested positive. Most people with the virus experience symptoms such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.