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Las Vegas mayor wants city to reopen, but says it's not her job to issue social distancing guidance

Goodman offered the city as a ‘control group’ for ending Nevada’s state lockdown, but was turned down.

Source: CNN/YouTube

THE MAYOR OF Las Vegas has said she wants to reopen the city to get people back to work, but believes the issue of social distancing is up to individual businesses to “figure out”. 

Mayor Carolyn Goodman said she wanted to reopen “so our people can go back to work” and had offered the city as a “control group” for ending Nevada’s state lockdown.

“I did offer, it was turned down,” she told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

With more than 4,100 infections, Nevada’s Democratic governor Steve Sisolak said: “We are clearly not ready to open.”

“I will not allow the citizens of Nevada to be used as a control group, as a placebo. I certainly will not allow that,” he told Cooper. 

Goodman told Cooper that she wants hotels, casinos, theatres, restaurants and other businesses to reopen.

“I want our people back in employment. We have so many families that can’t even afford to get the groceries [because] they have been out of work for six weeks,” she said. 

“I’d love everything open because I think we have had viruses for years that have been here.”  

She said the city has never been closed down before “because that’s our job as entertainment capital of the world”. 

When questioned on how social distancing would work in a casino, Goodman said: “That’s up to them to figure out, I don’t own a casino.” 

We’re in a crisis health-wise, and 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.

US President Donald Trump criticised a Republican state governor yesterday, expressing strong disagreement with Georgia’s decision to reopen small businesses such as tattoo parlours and nail salons.

Trump’s administration last week laid out gradual plans to get America back to work while observing health guidelines as much as possible to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

But Brian Kemp, governor of the southern state of Georgia, and Florida’s Ron DeSantis, both Republicans, have announced more aggressive easing of restrictions. 

Kemp said that from Friday he is allowing gyms, bowling alleys, tattoo parlors, barbershops, nail salons and other small firms to reopen.

At his daily briefing on Wednesday, Trump told reporters “it’s too soon” for those businesses to resume operations, but Kemp separately said he is not just “throwing the keys back” for them to operate without guidelines.

Trump said he told Kemp that he disagrees “strongly with his decision to open certain facilities which are in violation of the phase one guidelines”. 

There must be 14 days of declining infection numbers before a reopening, the government said.

“I respect him and I will let him make his decision. Would I do that? No. I’d keep them [closed] a little bit longer. I want to protect people’s lives,” Trump said.

With reporting from AFP.  

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