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Vegas Mayor Slammed for 'Misguided' Remarks

She wanted city to be 'control group' for reopening
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2020 7:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who is pushing for casinos and other businesses to be allowed to reopen, says she wants the city to be a "control group" for relaxing shutdowns. The workers who would actually be affected say they want to go back to safe workplaces—and they don't want to be part of an experiment. "We're not test subjects. We're people. We are employees," bartender Alexander Acosta tells NBC News. "We try to live every day as we can. We shouldn't be test subjects." Goodman is facing a major backlash over the "control group" remark and other comments she made in a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper Wednesday. The 81-year-old mayor has previously called lockdown measures "total insanity." More:

  • "Control group." Goodman told Anderson that she had volunteered the city to be a "control group" for social distancing but statisticians told her it wouldn't work because people commute to the city from across southern Nevada. "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,'" the mayor said. "We would love to be that placebo side so you have something to measure against."

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  • "Wow, that's really ignorant." Goodman objected when Cooper showed a graphic showing how the virus spread in a restaurant in China, the Washington Post reports. "This isn’t China, this is Las Vegas, Nevada," she said. He replied: "Wow, that's really ignorant." Goodman said casinos should reopen but failed to explain how they could do so safely, saying: "That's up to them to figure out."
  • Governor pushes back. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak rejected Goodman's suggestion, the AP reports. "I will not allow the citizens of Nevada, our Nevadans, to be used as a control group, as a placebo, whatever she wants to call it," he said. "We want to welcome everybody back to Las Vegas," he added. "We want to welcome them back to the lights on the Strip. But it’s not today and it’s not tomorrow."
  • "We're sick and tired of hearing this." Mediaite reports that former Diamond Resorts Chief Executive Officer Stephen Cloobeck blasted Goodman on MSNBC after she called for the reopening of casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, which is outside city limits. "She has nothing to do with the Strip!" he shouted. "We’re sick and tired of hearing this."
  • Step down, Kimmel says. Jimmy Kimmel called for the "dangerously misguided" mayor to resign, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. "Carolyn Goodman should resign before lunch arrives today. She is an embarrassment to my hometown," he tweeted Wednesday. "Let’s put it this way,” Kimmel said during his show Wednesday night. "R. Kelly was watching this interview and said, 'This woman is nuts.'"
(Read more Las Vegas stories.)

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