Las Vegas mayor says ‘desert heat’ will slow coronavirus, put city ‘at the forefront’ of openings
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman (I) says her city will be able to reopen from coronavirus closures because of the area’s “desert heat” and “unique economy.”
“Although, it has not been clearly determined as to the effect that extreme warmth will have on the virus, it is assumed that it will deter its ferocity,” Goodman wrote on Twitter. “Our hot summer coupled with our unique economy compel us to be at the forefront of America’s ‘reopening.'”
My statement on safely reopening Las Vegas. pic.twitter.com/3nDKzco0HO
— Carolyn G. Goodman (@mayoroflasvegas) April 24, 2020
She went on to say: “Las Vegans are smart and courageous. We need to act first…and we will. What I ask is that our brothers and sisters throughout America, the governments in both Carson City and Washington, D.C. and our healthy and vibrant free press show us both love and support as we, judiciously, reopen America’s city…for the wellbeing of us all.”
Goodman’s argument to reopen the city due to the pandemic’s blow to the tourism industry echoes the arguments of other leaders opening their states and cities in coming days.
Her argument that heat will help stop the spread of coronavirus comes a day after officials at the White House coronavirus task force briefing presented the results of a study that showed the virus deteriorates more quickly when subjected to higher temperatures and humidity. However, the finding quickly drew skepticism from other experts on social media and cable television given outbreaks in a number of places with warm climates, such as Singapore and Brazil.
A study by French researchers earlier this month also found that the virus was able to survive in 140-degree Fahrenheit temperatures typically used to disinfect research labs. A National Academies of Sciences panel also warned the White House in early April that summer weather was unlikely to significantly slow the spread of the virus, as was initially believed.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci has said he sees indications the virus may appear seasonally, but said mitigation efforts are still necessary to prevent it from recurring in the fall.
“I think it very well might” recur seasonally, Fauci said last month. “And the reason I say that is that what we’re starting to see now in the Southern Hemisphere, in southern Africa and in the Southern Hemisphere countries, is that we’re having cases that are appearing as they go into their winter season.”
Goldman’s push to reopen Las Vegas also comes after a combative interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper earlier this week, in which she called for casinos reopening but said the responsibility would fall on businesses to ensure it was done in a safe manner.
“I get the financial losses people are suffering, which is awful, but you’re encouraging hundreds of thousands of people, coming there, smoking, drinking, touching slot machines, breathing circulated air and then returning home to states around America and countries around the world. Doesn’t that sound like a virus petri dish?” Cooper asked.
“It sounds like you’re being an alarmist,” Goodman hit back before later saying of employee safety: “You’re talking disease. I’m talking life and living.”