Las Vegas Mayor Tried To Offer The City Up As A Coronavirus 'Control Group'

by Madison Vanderberg
Most of the exterior building lights at Paris Las Vegas, including on its 50-story replica Eiffel To...
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Las Vegas mayor wants to reopen the city’s economy, says it could be a “control group”

The country is at odds over when and how to reopen the country. Experts warn against reopening too soon, Atlanta just reopened a number of retail locations despite citizen’s fears, and now the Las Vegas mayor not only wants to reopen the economy, but she also suggested using the tourist town as a “control group” for coronavirus. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday that the city doesn’t have as many COVID-19 cases as might have been expected, though she doesn’t believe it’s due to social distancing and thinks there ought to be a “control group” to truly find out how many lives COVID-19 will take.

After Goodman said she wanted to reopen the Las Vegas economy asap, Cooper reminded her that it would lead to fatalities, to which she said, “How do you know until we have a control group? We offered to be a control group. I did offer, it was turned down.”

In other words, Goodman wants to let COVID-19 do its thing across Las Vegas without any social distancing and if more people get sick and die, then she’ll know that social distancing works. She also said Anderson was being “alarmist” with regards to COVID-19, a novel virus that is completely untested, because “we’ve had viruses for years that have been here,” and when Cooper asked her how she would protect the workers in the casinos once she demands that the city open back up, she said, “That’s up to them to figure out. I don’t run a casino.”

Steve Sisolak, the governor of Nevada, does not agree with Goodman, who tweeted after her interview, “Nevadans have done an excellent job flattening the curve so far. That’s why we haven’t seen nearly the number of cases or deaths predicted in early models. I’m so proud of our State. So to all those who can’t wait to come back, we can’t wait to welcome you — when the time is right.”

Not surprisingly, Goodman’s comments about the city becoming a “control group” did not go over well.

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who grew up in Vegas, called for her resignation. While D. Taylor, the president of UNITE Here, a union that represents hospitality workers across the country, said the mayor’s statement was “one of the worst things I’ve heard.”

“Nobody wants people to go back more than I do, but everyone wants to go back to a safe and secure workplace and not be an experiment in a petri dish,” Taylor told NBC News.

Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada told CNN that Goodman should “stop talking about my constituents as though they’re guinea pigs in some grand experiment.”

It remains to be seen how exactly the mayor and the state will handle the reopening (or not) of Las Vegas’ economy.