After calling the lockdown of nonessential businesses in Nevada “total insanity,” the mayor of Las Vegas said on Tuesday that she intends to reopen the strip’s famous casinos — assuming everyone is infected with the coronavirus.
Speaking with Katy Tur on MSNBC, Independent Mayor Carolyn Goodman discussed reopening the Las Vegas economy during the pandemic assuming that everyone is an asymptomatic carrier of the coronavirus.
“What I assume is that everybody is a carrier, that 100 percent of our population is asymptomatic but a carrier,” Goodman explained. She also noted that the hospitality industry fuels both the Las Vegas and Nevada economies, and vulnerable service workers need businesses to reopen in order to earn a living wage.
She said that by assuming everyone is a carrier, the city can “start from an even slate” and “tell the people what they do.”
Citing Anthony Fauci and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warning that the second wave of the coronavirus that may come toward the end of the year could be more deadly, Goodman believes that the city should reopen.
Goodman also noted that Las Vegas has survived through other global viruses, such as SARS and MERS — though COVID-19 has proven to be more contagious.
“Do we keep absolutely everyone out of work and destroy the lives of people and our children and the next generation because we have a fight on our hands with the virus?” she posed on air.
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As for businesses in the city that are forced to close due to coronavirus infections and dangers, Goodman states that surrounding “competition will destroy that business” if they close down.
“I’m making the assumption that everybody is a carrier, so let’s go forward, open up the city, open up whoever wants to open up, but do it in a very responsible, cautious way.”
Goodman’s statements come after protestors in Las Vegas gathered in the state capitol, Carson City, on Saturday to protest the stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Steve Sisolak (D).
Called “Operation Nevada,” the protest aimed at reopening the state’s economy.
Fauci, however, has cautioned against reopening state economies before the coronavirus spread is under control. Speaking on “Good Morning America,” he said protests opposing stay-at-home orders would “backfire.”
"So what you do if you jump the gun and go into a situation where you have a big spike, you’re going to set yourself back," he confirmed.
According to the Nevada Department of Health, there are currently 4,081 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state.
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