Carolyn Goodman (I), mayor of Las Vegas, Nevada, on Wednesday blasted the mass shutdown resulting in the closures of nonessential businesses statewide, proclaiming that the actions have reached a point of “total insanity,” stressing that it is “killing” Las Vegas, and urging people to “remember the data.”
Goodman made the remarks at Wednesday’s city council meeting, which followed Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signaling that he does not have immediate plans to reopen portions of the state’s economy.
“This is truly an opportunity for having a bully pulpit as your mayor,” Goodman said, “and I am going to take advantage of that before we begin our public comment.”
“This shutdown has become one of total insanity,” she said, explaining that the virus is not going to suddenly disappear. Therefore, she said, society must figure out how to move forward amid its existence.
“It’s not going to be going away this month, next month, and much like the flu and other viruses that have impacted populations around the world, this virus, or a derivative there of, will be part of what we work through going forward,” she said.
She gave her condolences to those who have been affected by the virus but tried to put the crisis in greater perspective, noting that those whom have died as a result of the virus in Nevada “represent less than half of one percent” of the state’s population.
We are a state of 3.2 million people, and we’ll soon find out how that changes as we go through our census shortly. 2.3 of us live down here in Southern Nevada. Tragically, we have already lost to this virus 128 individuals in Nevada. [HHS reports 131] Many with complications attributed, in part, to COVID-19. Let me assure you that our sympathies and condolences to those who have lost loved ones. But let me tell you — with a population of 3.2 million living in Nevada, those whom we lost represent less than a half of one percent of our population, which has caused us to shut down the entire state and everything that makes Nevada unique.
Goodman said an estimated 900,000 have already lost their jobs, and 300,000 of those have already filed for unemployment.
“300,000 have filed for unemployment,” she emphasized.
“These are families that no longer have the ability to buy food for their children and other loved ones, pay their bills, pay their rent, pay their mortgage, pay their car payment, or enjoy the life that they had prior to this shutdown,” she continued.
That considered, Goodman said they “must open” the city and state:
“We cannot live going forward with the medical health industry telling us that this virus is going to be around longer than a month or two, maybe even a year,” she said. “We cannot keep our heads in the sand and think its going to go away.”
“We’re adults with brains who can know what to do, to wash our hands and take all precautions not to spread this disease. But we cannot put our head in the sand and think it’s going to go away,” she continued.
“From my perspective, I am asking: Open the city. Open Clark County. Open the state,” she said.
“For heaven’s sake, 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,” she warned.
The mayor urged everyone to “remember the data,” reemphasizing that less than one half of one percent “tragically, have been lost” as a result of the virus.
“And the entire 3.2 million people have been brought to their knees,” she added.
The mayor’s call follows a movement bubbling across the country, as frustrated Americans begin to take to the streets to demonstrate their opposition to stringent stay-at-home orders and their respective governors refusing to signal the reopening of the economy. That movement was evident on Wednesday, as demonstrators flocked to Lansing, Michigan, protesting the shutdown and stringent stay-at-home orders issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).