A trending topic made headlines as Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman called to reopen casinos in the state amidst the current global COVID-19 situation. In an interview conducted on television network CNN with Anderson Cooper, the appointed Goodman made some reckless and contradictory statements that confused millions of viewers.
Anderson Cooper: You’re talking about encouraging hundreds of thousands of people to come to Las Vegas … smoking, drinking, touching slot machines, breathing circulated air, doesn’t that sound like a virus petri dish?!
Las Vegas Mayor: It sounds like you’re being an alarmist! pic.twitter.com/meAlEMpntl
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) April 22, 2020
Cooper, a veteran journalist was befuddled as well and carried on to probe the interviewee to elaborate more on her statements.
“I know that when you have a disease, you have a placebo that gets the water and the sugar, and then you have those that actually get the shot,” she told the long-time CNN host. “We would love to be that placebo side so you have something to measure against.”
Aside from urging casinos and other non-essential businesses to reopen, Goodman missed to present a safe plan of action to ensure guests practice social distancing. Serving as mayor since 2011, the confused politician was challenged by Cooper if she’d be willing to spend nights on casino floors alongside other visitors as to which Goodman was unable to clearly answer.
“I want our restaurants open. I want our small businesses open. I want people back in employment,” Goodman told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who was clearly flabbergasted, in an interview on Wednesday.
“I’d love everything open because I think we’ve had viruses for years that have been here,” the mayor added. “I want us open in the city of Las Vegas so our people can go back to work.”
The televised interview quickly attracted criticism and received a great deal of attention on social media, joining the top trending topics on Twitter.
Popular talk show host Jimmy Kimmel related a post saying “The @mayoroflasvegas Carolyn Goodman should resign before lunch arrives today. She is an embarrassment to my hometown” and said she “should resign before lunch arrives today”.
Local officials and representatives of the Culinary Union, which represents about 60,000 bartenders, cooks, housekeepers and other employees also revealed their sentiments on the mindless proposition, saying workers have been dealing with the consequences of this crisis firsthand.
“Workplaces need to be safe and healthy, not a petri dish,” said Geoconda Arguello-Kline, the union’s secretary-treasurer. The union said 11 of its members so far have died of Covid-19. While Las Vegas City Councilman Brian Knudsen said Goodman “does not speak for all of us”, and reopening now “is reckless and completely contrary to the overwhelming consensus of medical experts”.
Nevada Governor Suggests Otherwise
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak appeared with the same CNN host that interviewed Goodman on Wednesday afternoon saying, “We are clearly not ready to open,”. “We have, sadly, since you did that interview, we now have 187 deaths in the state of Nevada, but over 4,100 positive cases. I will not allow the citizens of Nevada, our Nevadans to be used as a control group, placebo, whatever she wants to call that. I will not allow that. I can tell you our largest trade union on the strip, culinary union 226 lost 11 members. They lost 11 members to covid-19 already. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure they don’t lose 11 more.”
“We are clearly not ready to open.”
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak responds to Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman’s call for the city’s businesses to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. “I will not allow the citizens of Nevada, our Nevadans, to be used as a control group.” pic.twitter.com/YxMeTZGKt8
— CNN (@CNN) April 23, 2020
In addition to this, Sisolak provided more details regarding the time frame needed to return everyday life to normal operations. The governor on Tuesday laid out the 14-day time frame of declining COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations that his health advisers say must occur before any restrictions are lifted.
“You can’t tell if you have a downward trajectory until you’re a few a days into that trajectory,” Sisolak said. “We have not seen that yet. We’re seeing the stabilization — we’re just kind of moving along with a steady flat pace. When we see that downward trajectory begin, then I’d be able to say, hey, look, we’re seven days into the trajectory. If we maintain this downward trajectory for the next seven days, we’ll be able to move into Phase One. We’re not there yet. We have not started a downward trajectory. So I can’t give you that day.”
“We’re doing everything we can to open up the economy as quickly as possible, but I will only do that when we meet the criteria set forth for gating and moving into phase one,” the governor said toward the end of a press briefing.
Given the uncertainty, the temporary shutdown on the state will most probably be extended after the April 30th mark. As of Tuesday evening, the state had reported 3,937 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 163 deaths from the illness.
“Las Vegas is a great place to be. It’s a fun time, it’s a great place to have a convention. Come for a party, an extended vacation, whatever that may be. And we want to welcome everybody back to Las Vegas. We want to welcome them back to the lights on the strip. But that’s not today and it’s not tomorrow.