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Goodman says hot summer, tourism mean Las Vegas should reopen first

Updated April 24, 2020 - 4:31 pm

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman on Friday said the city’s hot summer and unique economy compel it to be “at the forefront of America’s ‘reopening,’” pointing to the possibility that extreme heat might reduce the strength of the coronavirus.

In a statement on Twitter, Goodman also said she set out this week on national television to share the crisis that the tourism-dependent city faces, warning that it “won’t survive” unless it gets back to business.

She said it “behooves me to explain to Americans from the other forty-nine states just how perilous and unique our situation is if our hospitality industry doesn’t reopen soon.”

“The Las Vegas the world knows and loves simply won’t survive,” she said.

The statement comes two days after Goodman received a torrent of harsh criticism for appearances on CNN and NBC where she suggested the city could be a “placebo” to test whether social distancing was working and that competition would effectively weed out businesses that reopened and sustained coronavirus outbreaks. Her remarks sparked calls on social media for a recall election — including a petition on Change.org — or her resignation.

In the statement, Goodman said it is her responsibility to see that the tourism industry is reopened while keeping residents and visitors as safe as possible. And she called for examining the available data from every major city in the world to determine “the safest path” to do so.

“Although it has not been clearly determined as to the effect that extreme warmth will have on the virus, it is assumed that it shall deter its ferocity,” Goodman said. “We certainly are looking forward to having our desert heat provide that required substantiation.

“Our hot summer coupled with our unique economy compel us to be at the forefront of America’s ‘reopening,’” the statement reads.

While viruses like those that cause the common cold and flu do spread more in cold weather months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that doesn’t necessarily indicate that people are safe in other months. Health officials are still investigating whether weather and temperature affect the coronavirus.

Goodman concluded that Las Vegans were “smart and courageous” and asked for “the love and support” from the public, state and federal governments, and the news media, as the city seeks to reopen “for the wellbeing of us all.”

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

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