Independent Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman was met with backlash on Wednesday when she joined the small chorus of local leaders bucking the advice of health experts to endorse a premature reopening of businesses amid the global pandemic.
Goodman made the comments in a Wednesday meeting of the Las Vegas City Council, where she dismissed the virus and called on Nevada's governor to reopen businesses in the state.
"This shutdown has become one of total insanity, in my opinion, for there is no backup of data as to why we are shutdown from the start, no plan in place how to move through the shutdown or how even to come out of it."
Goodman's dismissal of the virus was panned by business leaders in Las Vegas—especially those on the famous Las Vegas strip, the unincorporated area which holds the city's most notable hotels, casinos, and shows. Goodman doesn't have jurisdiction over the Strip, and therefore doesn't have the power to issue guidance on how it conducts business.
On Tuesday, Goodman attempted to defend her decision in an interview with MSNBC's Katy Tur, but Goodman stumbled when met with facts.
Las Vegas Mayor: We survived west nile, SARS, bird flu, ecoli.. Tur: Those were not as contagious Mayor: Well weâ��llâ�¦ https://t.co/MF1pKiId6X— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn Torabi)1587495206.0
Goodman reverted to the familiar talking point of listing less contagious diseases in an attempt to minimize the virus.
When Tur pointed out to her that this virus is far more contagious than any of the viruses Goodman listed, the Mayor responded:
"Well, we'll find out the facts afterwards, unfortunately we all do better in hindsight—
"But those are the facts. We have a death toll that proves it, we have cases around the country that prove that. Those are the facts."
Goodman remained reluctant:
"Assuming that you are correct...But we do deal in crowds and we have lived through all of these other virus, highly contagious diseases, and yet we have managed to continue to have wonderful conventions come up here—"
Tur wasn't having it:
"There's no assuming that I'm correct. Those are the numbers that are released by the federal government."
Tur continued to debunk Goodman's misleading claims about the proportion of deaths and about Goodman's continued shrugging at the threat.
People balked at Goodman's assertion that they'd "find out the facts afterwards."
The Mayor of Vegas. â��Weâ��ll find out if itâ��s that bad afterâ��. When weâ��re all dead. https://t.co/4ytcBIdRfm— jay arnold ð��¬ (@jay arnold ð��¬)1587495498.0
â��It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.â�� https://t.co/ZjX6HhetNQ— Jon Stokes (@Jon Stokes)1587498492.0
Mayor of Las Vegas not accepting that this is contagious. https://t.co/7CLQVPK6Ti— Geddy Dubin (@Geddy Dubin)1587497313.0
Shorter Mayor Goodman: It's Vegas, baby! Let the chips and bodies fall where they may. https://t.co/c9bm6jOlCZ— Shelby Kent-Stewart â�¢ (@Shelby Kent-Stewart â�¢)1587498183.0
When human beings are debits and credits in a bank ledger. https://t.co/3DG30XzWX1— John Stoehr's Editorial Board (@John Stoehr's Editorial Board)1587499538.0
Despite Goodman being able to name other diseases, people knew better.
More Americans have died from COVID-19 in the last month than the amount of Americans who have ever died (accordingâ�¦ https://t.co/IA3021TSkt— snowã�½ï¸�anomicsð��½ (@snowã�½ï¸�anomicsð��½)1587495698.0
My favorite part is when she's listing all the diseases we've survived and she just throws in "E. coli" because heyâ�¦ https://t.co/c0vxKX4Hi0— Adrenochrome Harvester (@Adrenochrome Harvester)1587498765.0
POOR #LasVegas if they're relying on @mayoroflasvegas carolyn goodman for common sense and a SAFE reopening they'râ�¦ https://t.co/EXKP7SYTTk— Debi Staron (@Debi Staron)1587494554.0
When it comes to viral pathogens, what happens in Vegas most certainly does not stay in Vegas.