CNN's Anderson Cooper clashed with Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman Wednesday over her desire to reopen the desert gambling and entertainment mecca. The wild interview covered a range of topics but centered on her repeated contradictions and vocal advocacy of reopening the city despite safety concerns due to the current health situation.
"Health and safety is our priority -- workers and guests have to be safe. We want people back to work, but it has to be safe and secure and we don't want workers to be part of an experiment," Goodman said. "Workplaces need to be safe and healthy, not a Petri dish."
But Goodman quickly brushed asides questions about how social distancing could be practiced in casinos, hotels, restaurants, theaters, and more.
"That's their job," she told Cooper. "That's not the mayor's job."
"Wow, OK, that's really ignorant," Cooper observed at one point.
Goodman said that "everything is clean" in the city and asserted, "This isn't China. This is Las Vegas, Nev." She claimed Vegas "didn't have disease" but also said she may have had COVID-19 in January.
Goodman, who ran as an independent, left Cooper removing his glasses and massaging his eyes in exasperation.
She has been mayor since 2011, but term limits prevent her from running for another term. Her comments carry little weight, as she does not have authority to reopen the casinos. Nevada's state Gaming Control Board guidelines also run counter to her opinions, and Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak has made clear that he will not rashly reopen the state.
Nevada schools were closed March 15. The order was extended to casinos and other nonessential business two days later. Sisolak indicated the lockdown will remain in effect despite the economic and personal hardships it has caused.
"I know it's tough to stay home, I know that, but I'm putting lives ahead of dollars," he said.
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