Not everything that happens in Vegas would stay in Vegas, alas.
The Mayor of Las Vegas wants casinos open now.
In a wild interview with Anderson Cooper on Wednesday, Carolyn Goodman revealed she had suggested the city be a coronavirus “control group”.
She argued that the 150 people who had died in Vegas, while tragic, was simply not a justification to shut down a city of 2.3million.
Las Vegas Mayor offers city as "control group", "we offer to be a control group" to see how many people die without social distancing. pic.twitter.com/NESE2hActE
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 22, 2020
Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman, who has been openly advocating for Vegas casinos and hotels to completely open up, literally tells Anderson Cooper she has no responsibility to figure out how to do it safely.
"It is up to them!" pic.twitter.com/d9LDRZX9Sl
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) April 22, 2020
When the CNN host argued that it was because of social distancing that the numbers had remained so low, she came back with a rather alarming proposition.
“How do you know until we have a control group?” she said. “We offered to be a control group. I did offer but I was turned down.”
“You’re offering the citizens of Las Vegas to be a control group to see if your theory on social distancing works or doesn’t work…?” a stunned Cooper asked.
An indignant Goodman said she wasn’t — but then only clarified that it wouldn’t work because of commuting.
“What I said was I offered to be a control group, and I was told by our statistician we can’t do that, because people from all parts of southern Nevada come in to work in the city,” she replied. “And I said ‘Oh that’s too bad’.”
“Because I know when you have a disease, you have a placebo, that gets the water and the sugar, and you get those that gets the actual shot. We would love to be that placebo so you have something to measure against.”
“Wow, that’s really ignorant.”@andersoncooper clashes with Las Vegas Mayor Goodman after she justified her wish to quickly reopen casinos, saying, “This isn’t China, this is Las Vegas,” after he showed her a graphic of how coronavirus could spread in a restaurant in China. pic.twitter.com/rLw0yBWFnd
— CNN (@CNN) April 22, 2020
Pointing out that the placebo group classically gets the short end of the stick, Cooper asked if she would put her life on the line and join them in the casino every night.
“What is the purpose of that?” she asked, explaining that she has a family to cook for every night.
When Cooper asked if hundreds of thousands of people smoking, drinking, touching slot machines, and breathing re-circulated air sounded “like a virus petri dish?”, she accused him of being “an alarmist.”
She argued it was possible to maintain social distancing in casinos — she just didn’t know how.
“That’s up to them to figure out — I don’t own a casino!” she chuckled. “I don’t know anything about building a casino!”
The beauty of competition and free enterprise, she argued, would force casinos to devise a safe way of reopening.
“Right now we’re in a crisis health-wise, and so for a restaurant to be open or a small boutique to be open, they better figure it out,” Goodman insisted. “That’s their job, that’s not the mayor’s job.”
The Mayor of Las Vegas does not — “thankfully”, as Cooper commented — have the authority to reopen the casinos, although she is responsible for the safety of the city’s citizens.
The interview even caught Jimmy Kimmel off guard: “Dear Las @Vegas. It would appear that your @mayoroflasvegas Carolyn Goodman is dangerously misguided,” he tweeted.
“I am not easily shocked anymore, but the interview she is doing with @andersoncooper @cnn right now is bonkers.”
Dear Las @Vegas. It would appear that your @mayoroflasvegas Carolyn Goodman is dangerously misguided. I am not easily shocked anymore, but the interview she is doing with @andersoncooper @cnn right now is bonkers.
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) April 22, 2020