On Wednesday, Independent Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman who has called to re-open Las Vegas, clashed with CNN’s Anderson Cooper as a guest on his program, telling him “This is not China, this is Las Vegas” after he put on the screen a graphic about China, which he responded with “Wow, that’s really ignorant.”
Anderson Cooper told Goodman, “It just seems really irresponsible given a) you have no actual responsibility or say over casinos or what happens on the Strip, that you are not doing anything to help out, you’re not doing anything to try to improve testing like your friend Mayor Garcetti in Los Angeles or improve contact tracing. You’re just sitting there and saying, you know, ‘get back to work, get these casinos open again,’ and you have no idea or plan, and have nothing to try to figure out what’s the best way to make that happen. How apart should a dealer be from the people, how, you know, should the hours… I mean, you are offering nothing other than being a cheerleader, which I guess is what part of your job is, and I respect that, and you seem like a very nice person, but I don’t understand. Do you not have any sense of responsibility if you’re calling for something to try to at least make it as safe as possible?”
The Mayor responded, “I speak with the owners of our city casinos every day, almost, and they are in such pain of having to furlough or let everybody go in the casinos…. They are very sensitive people who care about their employees and having to shut down the business here. These are people — not the strip hotels under the jurisdiction of the county or unincorporated county. Our jurisdiction, the city of Las Vegas…”
Cooper cut her off, saying, “I’m sure the casino owners are doing okay — it’s the people who are working on the floor who are the ones who are going to become infected and potentially die.”
Goodman told him, “Now you’re talking disease. I’m talking life and living.” Cooper cut in saying, “It makes no sense.”
The Mayor then clapped back, “Maybe it doesn’t to you but it does to us here in Las Vegas. They’ve had to release all these workers that have no other source of income to feed their children.”
A previous version of this article listed Goodman as a Democrat, which has been updated to reflect that she was formerly a Democrat, and is currently a registered Independent.