‘They better figure it out’: Las Vegas mayor on giving social distancing guidance to businesses

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Mayor Carolyn Goodman is doubling down on how important she thinks it is for the Las Vegas hotels, casinos and other non-essential businesses to open up during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Goodman repeatedly called for the city’s businesses to reopen but did not provide any social distancing guidelines on how to do so safely.

Cooper: “So you don’t believe there should be any social distancing? You don’t believe that this is uhh…”

Goodman: “Of course, it should be! Of course! I’m a rational…”

Cooper: “Well, how do you do that in the casinos?”

Goodman: “That’s up to them to figure it out. I don’t own a casino. I don’t know anything about building a casino.”

This was the latest interview since Goodman first sounded off about how she felt about Gov. Steve Sisolak’s directive to close non-essential businesses in Nevada. Last week, she also called for those businesses closed by the governor’s order to be reopened. 

“This shutdown has become one of total insanity, in my opinion, for there is no backup of data as to why we are shut down from the start, no plan in place how to move through the shutdown or how even to come out of it,” Goodman said at a Las Vegas City Council meeting.

Goodman’s interview with Cooper on Wednesday took social media by storm.

“I want everything back. We never closed down the United States. We’ve never closed down Nevada. We’ve never closed down Las Vegas because that’s our job. Entertainment capital of the world where everything is clean,” Goodman said. “We would never have gotten to the point we are now as the center for entertainment, conventions and sports and everything else so positive without being clean.”

On Wednesday, Las Vegas was trending on Twitter because of Goodman’s interview with Cooper. Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who’s from Las Vegas, also sounded off.

“Carolyn Goodman should resign before lunch arrives today,” Kimmel said in a tweet Wednesday. “She is an embarrassment to my hometown.”

Goodman, who’s politically independent, suggested that “viruses for years have been here” and said that she had suggested that the residents of Las Vegas become “a control group” to see how relaxing closures and restrictions would affect the city.

“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.”

On Tuesday, Sisolak reiterated his directive for the continued closure of non-essential businesses, but he also said that casino owners are working together on coming up with a plan on how to protect their customers when they eventually do reopen.

According to CNN, the stay-at-home order has been a crucial part of declining reports of new cases for 14 consecutive days. Sisolak described the state as being in “phase zero” on Tuesday. He did not give a date on when to expect reopenings to begin.

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