Las Vegas Mayor Says She Assumes Everyone is a Coronavirus Carrier, Wants to Open City Anyway

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said she assumes that everybody is a novel coronavirus carrier without symptoms, but still wants the city to be opened again.

In an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday, Goodman said she wanted to "get our people back to work" having previously called Nevada's non-essential business shutdowns "total insanity" despite rising COVID-19 cases and deaths.

"What I assume is that everybody is a carrier, that 100 percent of our population is asymptomatic but a carrier," she told MSNBC. "So how do we move forward? What do we do to keep our people working? Keep parents being able to put food on the table, pay rent and keep a roof over their heads?"

The mayor added: "My whole opinion is get our people back to work... I'm concentrating on the city of Las Vegas, where we're ready to get back in business."

MSNBC host Katy Tur asked Goodman how she planned to keep people safe, were the lockdown to be lifted, given how busy and crowded Vegas can be.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman speaks outside the Downtown Grand on October 27, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

"Consider the fact we have grown so exponentially here over the last 40 years, it's been incredible. And we've survived the West Nile, SARS, Bird Flu, Ecoli, Swine Flu, the Zika virus."

"Those were not as contagious and they did not spread as this disease has already done," Tur pointed out.

When Goodman said America would "find the facts out afterwards," Tur hit back: "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."

"We have lived through all these other viruses, highly contagious diseases, and yet we have managed to continue to have wonderful conventions come up here," Goodman responded.

The mayor also said that she deferred to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director, and suggested Las Vegas would be reopened in a "very responsible, cautious way."

"Assume everybody is a carrier, and then you start from an even slate... and tell the people what to do," Goodman later added. "And let the businesses open, and competition will destroy that business if in fact they become evident they have disease they're closed down. It's that simple."

Newsweek has contacted the Las Vegas mayor's office for comment and will update this article with any response.

Goodman urged Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) to reopen businesses in the state last week, dubbing the state's pandemic shutdown "total insanity."

Gov. Sisolak issued the Nevada shutdown order in mid-March and extended it at the start of April. Under the order, residents are told to stay at home and non-essential businesses are shuttered.

At the time of writing, there are have been more than 3,900 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nevada and 163 related deaths.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, shows the total number of novel coronavirus cases nationwide.

Statista Graphic COVID-19 Cases U.S.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States. Statista

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.