Anderson Cooper Rips Into Las Vegas Mayor For Pushing to Reopen Casinos: ‘How Is That Safe?’

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman stated that it's 'not the mayor's job' to 'figure out' how hotels and casinos can safely re-open, but added she 'believes' there should be social distancing.

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Anderson Cooper & Carolyn Goodman
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Anderson Cooper, 52, grilled Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, 81, about her advocacy to re-open casinos in Sin City amidst the Coronavirus outbreak. “You’re talking about encouraging hundreds of thousands of people to come to Las Vegas,” Anderson questioned in an interview on CNN Wednesday, April 22. “I get the financial losses people are suffering, which is awful. But you’re encouraging hundreds of thousands of people coming there in casinos — smoking, drinking, touching slot machines, breathing circulated air — and then returning home to states around America and countries around the world,” the news anchor continued. “Doesn’t that sound like a virus petri dish? I mean, how is that safe?” he then asked.

“No. What it sounds like is you’re being an alarmist [which] I’m not,” Carolyn, who has been the Mayor of Las Vegas since 2011, responded. “I’ve lived a long life, I grew up in the heart of Manhattan. I know what it’s like to be on subways, and on buses, and on elevators,” she continued, leading Anderson to interrupt. “I’m being an alarmist?” he asked, as Carolyn added, “I think you are by saying what you just said.”

The Anderson Cooper 360 host further pushed about Carolyn’s thoughts around social distancing, which have encouraged people to keep six feet between them in public spaces. “Of course I believe there should be [social distancing],” the 81-year-old said, leading a confused Anderson to ask how she imagined that a casino would impose such limitations. “That’s up to [the casinos] to figure out! I don’t own a casino! I don’t know anything about building a casino,” Carolyn, who is married to former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goldman, added.

“Sorry, you’re the Mayor of Las Vegas — and you want casinos to be open even though you have no authority, thankfully, over casinos. You say open them up even though you have no responsibility over how that would be done safely?…You said it’s not your job?” Anderson then followed up with. “No, no, no — you’re blurring…I am not a private owner of a hotel. I wish I were. And I would have the cleanest hotel with six feet figured out for every human being coming there,” Carolyn responded.

“If you can’t figure out how to do this safely, why, as Mayor, in a city where you’re responsible for people’s safety, are you calling for something that you have no plan for how it would be done safety?” Anderson asked again. “I am not a private owner,” Carolyn once again said. “That is the competition in this country. The free enterprise and to be able to make sure that what you offer the public meets the needs of the public. Right now, we’re in a crisis health wise. So for a restaurant to be open — or a small boutique to be open — they better figure it out. That’s their job. That’s not the Mayor’s job,” she added.