Las Vegas Mayor Calls Shut Down 'Total Insanity,' Demands Nevada Governor Reopen State Now

During a Las Vegas city council meeting on Wednesday, Mayor Carolyn Goodman (I) called on Nevada's Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak to quickly reopen the state for business so that her city's residents can start an economic recovery.

"This shutdown has become one of total insanity, in my opinion," Goodman said, "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."

Citing experts, she said that coronavirus is expected to endure indefinitely and argued that the virus has only killed less than 0.5 percent of the state population.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman speaks at an announcement at the Fremont Street Experience on June 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sam Wasson/#ENT/Getty

Thus far, Nevada has had 2,836 confirmed coronavirus cases and 112 deaths so far. Clark county, the region containing Las Vegas, accounts for 2,559 of those cases. But she said the low death rate doesn't substantiate the statewide shutdown of casinos and other non-essential businesses.

Since the mid-March executive order by Gov. Sisolak shuttering the state's non-essential businesses, she added, 900,000 of the state's 3.2 million residents have lost their jobs—300,000 have filed for unemployment.

"For heaven's sake," she continued," being closed is killing us already and killing Las Vegas, our industry, our convention and tourism business that we have all worked so hard to build. The longer we wait to do this, the more impossible it will become to recover."

"We cannot keep our heads in the sand and think it's going to go away," she said. "We're adults with brains who can know what to do to wash our hands, to take all precautions not to spread this disease."

The city hosted 42.5 million visitors last year, and the Nevada Resort Association (NVA) predicts the state could lose $39 billion from all the canceled meetings and conventions and also lose $20 billion in wages since one in three jobs in Nevada are part of the tourism industry.

This isn't the first time Goodman has pleaded with Sisolak to stop the shutdown. At a March 18 City Council meeting, she said "I know we, and [workers], cannot survive any total shutdown of the economy for any length of time beyond the immediate week or two."

"Please, governor," she continued, "we need to be able to live our lives, support our families and, yes, keep Nevada strong, but together."

The CBS Las Vegas affiliate has reported that the executives with Caesars Entertainment Corp., MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts Ltd., and Las Vegas Sands Corp. are currently in talks to reopen casinos as early as next month with guests having their temperatures checked at entrances and dealers wearing masks and gloves. One-third of each casino's hotel rooms would be open to guests as well.

Gov. Sisolak's executive order shutting down all nonessential businesses remains in effect until April 30.