- In an interview with Anderson Cooper on Wednesday, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said she wants the city to reopen early, offering up her constituents as a control group to test the effects of lifting lockdown orders.
- Goodman said she doesn’t have a plan for how businesses should safely operate and that it’s up to them to figure that out.
- She also said any business found to be spreading the coronavirus would eventually be destroyed by market competition.
- Her comments drew the ire of city and state officials, including Governor Steve Sisolak who assured Nevadans that no one would be used as a control.
Goodman Say Competition Will Kill Businesses Spreading COVID-19
Offering up constituents to be a placebo group for the coronavirus hasn’t been an option for most mayors across the United States, but Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman admitted to having explored the idea.
In fact, Goodman said as much in a Wednesday interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN. In that interview, now largely derided and ridiculed for Goodman’s startling responses, the mayor said she backed off from the idea after a statistician told her the plan wouldn’t work. The statistician reminded her that Las Vegas is a major travel destination and that people frequently enter and leave it.
“I said, ‘Oh that’s too bad,’ because I know when you have a disease, you have a placebo that gets the water and the sugar and then you get those that actually get the shot. We would love to be that placebo,” Goodman said.
Earlier in the interview, Goodman told Cooper that he was being alarmist when he pressed her about previous comments she made about wanting to reopen Las Vegas.
“But you’re encouraging, I mean, 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,” Cooper said. “Doesn’t that sound like a virus petri dish? I mean, how is that safe?”
“No,” Goodman said, “it sounds like you’re being an alarmist. I’m not. I’ve lived a long life. I grew up in the heart of Manhattan. I know what it’s like to be with subways and on buses and crammed into elevators.”
“I’m being alarmist?” Cooper said.
“I think you are by saying what you have just said,” she replied.
Cooper then continued to press Goodman by asking her how she would regulate social distancing in public areas like casinos, to which she replied, “That’s up to them to figure out. I don’t own a casino.“
“I am not a private owner,” she went on to say. “That’s 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, and so for a restaurant to be open or a small boutique to be open, they better figure it out. That’s their job.”
When Cooper pressed her on this, asking her if she was saying that competition would weed out businesses spreading the coronavirus, the conversation became very circular. She then accused Cooper of trying to get her to slip up.
However, one of the key takeaways from that exchange was actually something she said on Tuesday with Katy Tur on MSNBC.
“And let the businesses open and competition will destroy that business if, in fact, they become evident that they have disease, they’re closed down,” Goodman said. “It’s that simple.”
In her CNN interview, Cooper read back that quote to Goodman, telling her that health officials wouldn’t really know if a business becomes an epicenter until weeks after it has already happened.
Cooper Becomes Increasingly Fed Up With Goodman
As the interview stretched on, Cooper became increasingly more exasperated with his guest. At one point, while speaking about Dr. Anthony Fauci, she snapped at him for trying to interrupt. Notably, though, Cooper said, “I’m not interrupting you. I’m listening to you.”
“Okay, thank you. Maybe it’s breathing. I’m sorry. I’m being silly here,” Goodman replied, then unaware that her interview would soon go viral and that she would be called much more than silly.
Later in the interview, Goodman compared the state’s response to the coronavirus to atomic bomb testing during the cold war era.
“We’re not getting the truth,” she said, “and I know over the years, going back to the 1950s with the atomic bomb, ‘Don’t worry about more testing in Nevada. You’ll all be fine. Take a shower.’”
“You’re the one saying you’ll all be fine,” Cooper said before being interrupted.
“No, no, no,” Goodman said. “You’re putting words in my mouth. I said open up Las Vegas.”
In another spar between the two, Cooper showed Goodman the layout of a restaurant in China, but Goodman then hit back by saying, “This isn’t China. This is Las Vegas, Nevada.”
“Wow, okay, that’s really ignorant,” Cooper said. “That’s an ignorant, ignorant statement. That’s a restaurant, and yes it’s in China, but they are human beings too.”
At one point, a little over halfway into the interview, Cooper takes off his glasses and wipes his face as Goodman is talking. About a minute later, he tells her, “I mean, you’re offering nothing other than being a cheerleader, which I guess is part what of your job is and I respect that, and you seem like a very nice person, but I don’t understand. Do you not have any sense of responsibility?”
Vegas Mayor Overwhelmingly Blasted for Interview Comments
After that interview, an overwhelming amount of ridicule was directed at Goodman, with many saying she was unfit for office.
“Anderson Cooper may have just ended her career,” professional poker player Daniel Negreanu said. “I couldn’t imagine a public official coming off worse in an interview. There should be a mercy rule.”
Later Wednesday evening, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak responded to Goodman’s comments in a different interview with Cooper, saying that he won’t let people in Nevada be used as a placebo group.
“We are clearly not ready to open,” he also said. “Sadly, since you did that interview, we now have 187 deaths in the state of Nevada.”
In that interview, Sisolak also noted the number of people infected in the state has climbed to 4,100.
Las Vegas City Councilman Brian Knudsen said that reopening is “reckless and completely contrary to the overwhelming consensus of medical experts.”
The Culinary Workers Union—which is the largest union in the state—called her comments “outrageous” and said that 11 of its members have died from COVID-19.
Late night host Jimmy Kimmel, who grew up in Vegas, called for Goodman to resign. Kimm took to Twitter to call her an embarrassment to his hometown.
Notably, even though Goodman said she wants to greenlight casino openings “immediately,” she is unable to do so because Sisolak has put the state on mandatory lockdown and closed all businesses.
Regarding the Las Vegas Strip, even without that lockdown, she doesn’t have any power at all over it. It’s actually located in an unincorporated part of the county outside of her jurisdiction.
Still, there are many casinos within city limits, and she will likely try to open them as soon as she has the authority to do so.
See what others are saying: (CNN) (The New York Times) (NBC News)
Wisconsin Police Deny Planting Evidence in Viral Video, Release Their Own Body Cam Footage
The footage police released shows that during a search, officers found a corner tear from a plastic bag inside a backseat passenger’s pocket. An officer then discarded it into the car after determining that it was empty.
Viral Video Appears To Show Officer Planting Evidence
The Caledonia Police Department in Wisconsin has responded to a viral cell phone video that appears to show an officer planting a small plastic baggie inside of a car during a traffic stop.
The now-viral footage was posted to Facebook by a man who goes by GlockBoy Savoo.
The user, who also filmed the clip, wrote in his post’s caption that the officer did this “just to get a reason to search the car” and said the cop didn’t know he was being recorded by the passenger.
Police Shut Down Accusations With Their Own Footage
After that video spread across social media, many were outraged, calling the Caledonia police dirty for seemingly planting evidence. All the outrage eventually prompted the department to announce an investigation Saturday.
Within hours, the department provided an update, claiming that officers didn’t actually plant any evidence or do anything illegal.
Police shared a lengthy summary of events, along with two body camera clips from the incident. That statement explained that the driver of the vehicle was pulled over for going 63 in a 45mph zone.
Two passengers in the backseat who were then spotted without seatbelts were asked to identify themselves and step out of the car. During a search of one passenger’s pockets, an officer pulled out “an empty corner tear” from a plastic baggie.
Police claim the corner tear did not contain any illegal substances, though they said this type of packaging is a common method for holding illegal drugs.
In one body cam clip, an officer can be heard briefly questioning the backseat passenger about the baggie. Then, that piece of plastic gets handed off to different officers who also determined it as empty before the officer in the original viral video discarded it into the back of the car.
The officer can also be seen explaining where the plastic came from to the passenger recording him.
“Aye, bro you just threw that in here!” the front seat passenger says, as heard in his version of the events.
“Yeah, cause it was in his pocket and I don’t want to hold onto it. It’s on their body cam that they took it off of him…I’m telling you where it came from, so. It’s an empty baggie at the moment too, so,” the officer replies.
The department went on to explain that while it would discourage officers from discarding items into a citizen’s car, this footage proves that evidence was not planted.
Authorities also noted that no arrests were made in this incident and the driver was the only one issued a citation for speeding. The statement added that since four officers were present at the scene, police have more than six hours of footage to review but they promised to release the footage in full in the near future.
See what others are saying: (Heavy)(CBS 58) (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Medical Groups, Local Leaders Push for Healthcare Workers and Public Employees To Get Vaccinated
The move comes as COVID cases have nearly quadrupled in the last month due to the rapid spread of the highly infectious delta variant.
Increased Calls for Mandatory Vaccinations in Certain Sectors
More than 50 of America’s largest medical groups representing millions of healthcare workers issued a statement Monday calling for employers of all health and long-term care providers to require mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations.
The groups, which included the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and 55 others, cited contagious new variants — including delta — and low vaccination rates.
“Vaccination is the primary way to put the pandemic behind us and avoid the return of stringent public health measures,” they wrote.
The call to action comes as new COVID cases have almost quadrupled during the month of July, jumping from just around 13,000 infections a day at the beginning of this month to more than 50,000.
While the vast majority of new infections and hospitalizations are among those who have not received the vaccines, many healthcare workers remain unvaccinated. According to data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, over 38% of nursing home staff were not fully vaccinated as of July 11.
An analysis by WebMD and Medscape Medical News found that around 25% of hospital workers who were in contact with patients had not been vaccinated by the end of May when vaccinations became widely available.
In addition to calls for medical professionals to get vaccinated, some local leaders have also begun to impose mandates for public employees as cases continue spiking.
Last month, San Francisco announced that it was requiring all city workers to get vaccinated. Also on Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that all municipal employees — including police officers and teachers — must either get the jab or agree to weekly testing by the time school starts in September.
Dr. Fauci Says U.S. Officials Are Considering Revising Mask Guidance for Vaccinated People
Numerous top U.S. health officials have applauded efforts by local leaders to mitigate further spread of the coronavirus, including the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who confirmed Sunday that federal officials are actively considering whether to revise federal masking guidelines to recommend that vaccinated Americans wear face coverings in public settings.
In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people who are vaccinated do not need to mask in public. Although that was a non-binding recommendation, many states and cities that had not already lifted restrictions on masking began to do so shortly after.
But now, local leaders in areas seeing big spikes have begun reimposing mask mandates — even for those who are vaccinated — including major counties like Los Angeles and St. Louis.
In his remarks Sunday, Fauci also emphasized that, despite claims from many conservatives, those efforts are in line with the federal recommendations, which leave space for local leaders to issue their own rules.
While Fauci and other top U.S. public health officials have encouraged local governments to take action, Republican lawmakers in several states are taking steps to limit the ability of local leaders and public health officials to take certain mitigation measures.
According to the Network for Public Health Law, at least 15 state legislatures have passed or are considering bills to limit the legal authority of public health agencies — and that does not even include unilateral action taken by governors.
Some of the leaders of states suffering the biggest spikes have banned local officials from imposing their own mask mandates, like Arkansas, which has the highest per capita cases in the country right now, as well as Florida, which currently ranks third.
Notably, some of the laws proposed or passed by Republicans could go beyond just preventing local officials from trying to mitigate surges in COVID cases and may have major implications for other public health crises.
For example, according to The Washington Post, a North Dakota law that bans mask mandates applies to other breakouts — even tuberculosis — while a new Montana law also bars the use of quarantine for people who have been exposed to an infectious disease but have not yet tested positive.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (The Guardian)
Couple Slammed Over Slavery-Themed Pre-Wedding Photoshoot
Many have expressed outrage at the duo for trying to romanticize slavery while others were left completely dumbfounded by the entire ordeal.
Photoshoot Goes Viral
A couple has come under fire after sharing images on Instagram from their slavery-themed pre-wedding photoshoot.
The photos show a Black man in shackles looking deeply into his white fiancé’s eyes before she works to releases him.
“1842. Days passed and everything changed, our love got stronger and stronger, he was no longer a slave, he was part of the family,” the post’s caption reads.
To indicate his transition from “slave” to family, a fourth image shows him wearing a long coat and top hat with well-shined shoes, as opposed to the white shirt, trousers, and straw hat he wore in the previous images.
Social Media Users React
It’s not immediately clear who these people are since the social media handle is redacted in the images circulating online.
Still, many have expressed outrage at the duo for trying to romanticize slavery while others were left just completely dumbfounded by this entire ordeal. Some also directed criticism at the photographer who agreed to the shoot, along with the hundreds of Instagram users who liked the original posts.
To see people romanticize this shit is infuriating – these people are too much. There is no such thing as slave consent and the sexual abuse of male slaves was real.— Nurse Elise 🌒 (@EliseRootedMind) July 21, 2021
There were three people there counting the photographer and not one thought should we? And over 1400 people hit the like button? And it’s part 2 like there’s more? I so want to be at the wedding when minister asks if anybody objects.— Randi Pro Democracy (@RandiKinman) July 21, 2021