Las Vegas Mayor Clashes With Anderson Cooper During Trainwreck Interview on COVID-19

Mayor Carolyn Goodman caught heat Wednesday after reiterating her calls to reopen Sin City amid the global health crisis.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman

Image via Getty/Denise Truscello

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman

The mayor of Las Vegas has undoubtedly learned that trending on Twitter isn't always a good thing. 

Mayor Carolyn Goodman received additional criticism Wednesday after appearing on CNN for an exhausting—and often times frustrating—interview about the coronavirus response. The Independent public official, who has been a vocal opponent of Nevada's stay-at-home order, reiterated her desire to reopen Sin City's economy, but refused to present a plan on how businesses could do so safely.

"That’s up to them to figure out,"she told Anderson Cooper, referring to Las Vegas business owners. "I don’t own a casino."

Goodman went on to say that if she owned a Vegas hotel, she would ensure that it was the "cleanest" and would find a way that would ensure every patron remain at least 6 feet apart.

"I am not a private owner. That's the competition in this country, the free enterprise and to be able to make sure that what you offer the public meets the needs of the public," she continued. "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. That’s their job. That’s not the mayor's job."

Goodman made similar remarks during a Tuesday appearance on MSNBC, when she suggested the free market would incentivize businesses to implement social distancing restrictions. Basically, the city's hotels, casinos, and restaurants would compete for the least amount of COVID-19 infections among their customers.

"Assume everybody is a carrier," the mayor told MSNBC's Katy 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."

In today’s performance, the role of Amity Island Mayor Larry Vaughn will be played by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn

— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) April 22, 2020

Cooper reminded Goodman that health experts have warned against lifting stay-at-home orders too soon, as the virus could easily spread within confined spaces such as restaurants. The anchor supported his argument with a graph created by Chinese researchers.

"This isn’t China, this is Las Vegas," Goodman interrupted.

"OK, that's really ignorant," Cooper responded.

"That’s ignorant to say that?" the mayor said with a laugh.

Oh, but it got worse. Goodman went on to question the effectiveness of social distancing, and said her city should act as a "control group" for such measures. Cooper was visibly shocked by the mayor's statement, and asked why she would want to risk people's lives during a global pandemic.

"Excuse me. What I said was, I offered to be a controlled group, and what I was told by our state is, you can't do that because people all from all parts of southern Nevada come in to work in the city," she explained. "And I said, 'Oh, that's too bad because when you have a disease you have a placebo that gets the water and the sugar and those that actually get the shot.' We would love to be that placebo side so you have something to measure against."

Cooper then asked Goodman if she would be in the casinos if the Nevada lockdown is lifted in the near future. Her answer was predictable.

"First of all, I don't gamble," she said. "I used to gamble when we first came to town. I don’t have the time. I work seven days a week. I have so many things that I have to attend to. I can’t sit on a casino floor."

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Goodman called for Nevada's stay-at-home order to be lifted about two weeks after it was implemented. 

"I am asking, open the city, open Clark County, open the state," she said during an April 15 city council meeting. "For heaven's sake, for being closed is killing us already and killing Las Vegas, our industry, our convention and tourism business that we haves all worked so hard to build."

.@mayoroflasvegas: "I am asking, open the city, open Clark County, open the state. For heaven's sake, for being closed is killing us already and killing Las Vegas, our industry, our convention and tourism business that we haves all worked so hard to build"

— FOX5 Las Vegas (@FOX5Vegas) April 15, 2020

As of Tuesday, there were over 3,200 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 150 deaths in Clark County, Nevada.

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