Las Vegas Mayor Offers City As A “Control Group” To See If People Die From Not Social Distancing

Well, THAT'S horrifying.

588 points

In today’s edition of “What In God’s Name Did I Just Watch,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman appears before you in a clip from Anderson Cooper’s news show in which the 81-year-old Independent appears to be embracing the Trump vision of reopening the economy rain or shine.

That’s understandable — Goodman presides over a city that is literally one hundred percent based on large gatherings of people, and “Stay At Home” orders turn Sin City into Snooze Town.

But it was the way she made her case to Cooper that will leave you scratching your head. Goodman told the host that she was volunteering the city to be a “control group” for lifting social distancing restrictions, something she said was necessary in order to actually determine whether social distancing guidelines were the cause of lower infection rates that the city has seen recently.


Cooper was rightly incredulous. He tried to clarify that she was offering up the citizens she represents at City Hall to be guinea pigs in an experiment that could cost them their lives. And while Mayor Goodman tried to backtrack and say she hadn’t said what she’d just said on national television, as I listened I could think of nothing other than casinos, the lifeblood of Las Vegas.

Being somewhat of a casino-goer myself up in the tribal gaming centers in the Pacific Northwest, I can’t help but think of a few things:

Number one, not much is sanitized in a casino until the wee hours of the morning. Surely that would change in most establishments given the current circumstances, but unless there’s an attendant wiping down every slot machine as soon as one person gets up and moves to another, you’ve got some virus soup cooking.

Number two, in any casino you’re going to find people who (a) are sick even if it’s not coronavirus — people don’t like to leave — and (b) drunk and belligerent.

Cooper asked the Mayor if she planned to be on the casino floor with the citizens — and of course, tourists — of Las Vegas, but Goodman demurred, citing the fact that she has a family.


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588 points