Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman is calling on Sin City’s casinos and restaurants to reopen, but is declining to say how that can be done safely.
“We were not broken and we need to get back to work. That’s it,” she told CNN on Wednesday (April 22). “Right now, we’re in a crisis health-wise, and so for a restaurant to be open or a small boutique to be open, they better figure it out. That’s their job. That’s not the mayor’s job.”
When CNN’s Anderson Cooper showed a visual by Chinese researchers that demonstrated how the coronavirus spreads, the mayor said, “This is not China, this is Las Vegas.”
The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the nation's economy, and in Las Vegas, casinos and hotels that are key to the local economy have had to close.
“We never closed down the United States,” Goodman said in the interview. “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.”
She said, “I grew up in the heart of Manhattan. I knew what it’s like to be in subways and on buses and crammed into elevators.”
Goodman, an independent, lacks the authority to order the city’s businesses to reopen. That power sits with Nevada’s Gaming Control Board. Still, the mayor insisted that the gambling mecca open its doors.
Goodman’s comments appear to be aligned with those of President Donald Trump and protesters in several U.S. cities, who have called for shops and business to reopen. However, many public health experts have warned of dangers of relaxing social-distancing measures too early as the COVID-19 crisis continues.
On Tuesday, Democratic Nevada Gov. Stephen Sisolak said state officials and casino owners are developing a plan on how to protect customers when they do open. He has not given a date on when to expect the state to reopen.