- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 23, 2020

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak pushed back Wednesday after Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman called for reopening casinos and other businesses temporarily closed due to the coronavirus.

“We are clearly not ready to open,” Mr. Sisolak, a Democrat, stressed during a television interview conducted by CNN host Anderson Cooper.

“Las Vegas is a great place to be. It’s a fun time, it’s a great place to have a convention,” Mr. Sisolak said later during the interview. “Come for a party, an extended vacation, whatever that may be. And we want to welcome everybody back to Las Vegas. We want to welcome them back to the lights on the Strip. But that’s not today and it’s not tomorrow.”

The governor’s comments came on the heels of Ms. Goodman, an independent, speaking out on CNN earlier Wednesday against a stay-at-home order issued by the governor this month temporarily shuttering nonessential businesses throughout the state, including casinos, convention centers and other establishments at the heart of her city’s economy, in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and the contagious respiratory disease it causes, COVID-19.

“We have to open up. We have to go back,” urged Ms. Goodman, who previously described the governor’s restrictions as “total insanity.”

Responding to the mayor’s comments several hours later, Mr. Sisolak indicated he would defer to experts to determine when nonessential businesses within the state can reopen.

“When we do it, we’re going to do it right. But I’m going to allow our workers to be put in a position where they have to decide between their job and their paycheck and their life,” Mr. Sisolak said. “That is not a fair position to put them in, and I will not allow that to happen.

“I’m listening to the medical people,” he added. “I’m listening to the scientists. They will decide, along with the virus and behavior of our citizen, when it is time to start reopening in a phased-in approach.”

Nevada has confirmed 41,000 cases of COVID-19, and 187 people within the state have died after contracting the disease, Mr. Sisolak said during the interview.

Ms. Goodman previously said that the statewide shutdown has resulted in “close to 900,000 people” becoming unemployed.

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