Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman criticized Governor Steve Sisolak’s new coronavirus restrictions on casinos and other businesses, calling him a “dictator.”
The casino and restaurant industries have been crippled by coronavirus closures and lockdowns, and public officials are forced to make tough decisions regarding public safety and economic security.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak initially ordered casinos to close in March after the first coronavirus wave swept through Nevada. Upon reopening in July, casinos had to implement new safety protocols and heavy restrictions. Restaurants and buffets closed, every other slot machine was turned off, and mask requirements were enforced.
But after the second wave of the virus showed a huge spike in the number of positive cases, the governor suggested that tougher restrictions would follow. The strain on the Nevada economy is immense, and the balancing act between public and economic security has been difficult at best.
Restaurants, bars, and casinos must lower their capacity from 50% to 25% under the new restrictions, which has decimated the chances of holiday feasts this season. The resulting lack of customers could wind up closing some businesses completely, leading to additional job losses.
Mayor Goodman (I), who is famous for her public criticism of Gov. Sisolak (D), did not mince her words. Upon hearing about the new restrictions, Goodman said, “Obviously, this was crushing to the city. He’s been a dictator with whom we have complied every step of the way. We’ve had no choice.”
The mayor lambasted the governor for his failure to effectively curb the coronavirus, while loudly proclaiming that all business must go on as usual. One professional poker player said the same about the mayor.
As the blame game rages on, Gov. Sisolak had his say in the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “When Nevada’s elected leaders speak, their words carry weight — and these difficult times call for our leaders to be unified in protecting the public.”
The mayor’s office also released a statement by spokesman Jace Radke, who said “The city of Las Vegas continues to follow and enforce the health and safety requirements put in place by the governor and the Southern Nevada Health District.”
Nevada’s total number of COVID cases is nearing 140,000, with the total number of deaths in the state at over 2,000.
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