The Las Vegas Mayor, Carolyn Goodman, has said in multiple interviews that she wants Las Vegas businesses, including casinos, to open amid the coronavirus outbreak.
During an interview with MSNBC’s Katy Tur, Goodman said:
“Assume everybody is a carrier,” the mayor told Tur. “And then you start from an even slate. And tell the people what to do. And let the businesses open and competition will destroy that business if, in fact, they become evident that they have disease, they’re closed down. It’s that simple.”
She went further during an interview with Anderson Cooper saying that it was the business’s responsibility to maintain the health of its workers and customers.
When asked “how do you do social distancing in a casino?”
The mayor replied that she didn’t know.
“Well, I don’t know. I don’t own a casino, that’s up for them to decide.”
Goodman went on to say that “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.”
The mayor is the mayor of downtown Las Vegas, and her jurisdiction does not include the Las Vegas Strip.
Matt Maddox, the CEO of Wynn Resorts, noted in an op-ed in the Nevada Independent that decisions should be led by science and data, not opinion.
“I commend our governor for making the difficult decision and taking early action in the fight against COVID-19,” wrote Maddox. “I believe his decisions saved lives as we were facing potential exponential growth in COVID-19 exposure, given that Las Vegas caters to millions of people from all over the world. Some of our elected officials have questioned the closure, calling it ‘insanity.’ That opinion has no basis in science or data and should be ignored.”
He also put forth a detailed plan shedding light on how to safely reopen Las Vegas and keep employees and customers safe.
The plan calls for increased testing, modeling, physical distancing, temperature checks and more. If Nevada continues to flatten the curve, Maddox believes the Strip could slowly reopen.
“I understand that if we incrementally reopen we might have to pull back if a spike in cases occurs that jeopardizes our health care system capacity,” he wrote. “However, the only way to cross this river is one stone at a time, and we need to put our feet in the water before it is too late.”
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