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Dem Rep. Dina Titus: You Can Bring Back The Economy, You Can Not Bring Back People’s Lives


Rep. Dina Titus (R-NV) ripped Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman for her push to reopen the city in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon.

LEMON: Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman is calling for her entire city to reopen including casinos and hotels. Anderson Cooper interviewed her earlier today. You’ve got to hear this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: So, you don’t believe there should be any social distancing? You don’t believe that this is — MAYOR CAROLYN GOODMAN (I), LAS VEGAS, NV: Of course I believe there should be, of course. I’m irrational. COOPER: How do we do that in a casino? GOODMAN: That’s up to them to figure out. I’m not — I don’t own a casino. I’m not a private owner of a hotel. I wish I were. And I would have the cleanest hotel with six feet figured out for every human being that comes in there. COOPER: So, Chinese researchers have shown how this virus spreads. I just want to put up for our viewers — I just want to put out to our viewers, this is a restaurant. GOODMAN: Anderson, you are good. Anderson, you are tough. This isn’t China. This is Las Vegas, Nevada. COOPER: Wow, OK. That’s really ignorant. This is a restaurant — GOODMAN: That’s ignorant to say? COOPER: That’s an ignorant statement. That’s a restaurant and yes it is in China but they are human beings too. GOODMAN: We offer to be a control group. Anybody who knows anything about statistics knows that for instance you have a vaccine. COOPER: You’re offering the citizens of Las Vegas to be a control group to see if your theory on social distancing works and doesn’t works. GOODMAN: I did offer, it was turned down — no, no, no. Wrong. Absolutely wrong. Don’t put words in my mouth. COOPER: You just said we’ll be a control group. GOODMAN: What I said was I offered — excuse me. What I said was, I offered to be a control group and I was told by our statistician you can’t do that. If you’re talking disease, I’m talking life. I’m talking life and living. These are people who had to abandoned — COOPER: I can’t get over how ignorant that sounds. GOODMAN: Well, maybe it does to you. It doesn’t to us here in Las Vegas. (END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: OK. So, I want to discuss that now with Congresswoman Dina Titus. She represents the people of Las Vegas in Congress. So, Congresswoman, thank you so much. I don’t know what you think of that interview. But I don’t even know what else to say. Mayor Goodman offering the citizens of Las Vegas to be a control group in order to get the city to reopen. What do you think? I don’t know what you think but what’s your reaction? REP. DINA TITUS (D-NV): Well, thank you for having me and for caring about the people of Las Vegas. I think that the mayor needs to listen to the scientists and the health care specialists and stop talking about my constituents as though they’re guinea pigs in some grand experiment that she’s trying to conduct. We can bring back the economy which is one of the things she seems to think is a priority. But you can’t bring back peoples’ lives. LEMON: Do you understand what she’s talking about in the interview? I had real trouble because she said she’s not offering them as a control group. And then she said she is. I just did not understand. I don’t know, I had a tough time with that. I’m not sure if you — TITUS: Well, it is hard to follow. And I just go back to the fact that we are doing a good job in Nevada. The governor shut down things. It was a very hard decision early on. He’s got the support of people on the front lines, the culinary union, health care workers, also the big executives from the casinos think this is the way to go. We want to open up. Nevada is resilient. Las Vegas is a city that’s been through a lot of tough times before and come back. But you have to do it the right way. You can’t open up too soon cause death or health problems for individuals, and then the economy will tank even worse and it will take us longer and be harder to come back. LEMON: And you’ve got a lot of gig workers there. You’ve got people who, you know, they make their works — that earn their living from tips and you know, restaurants and casino workers. It’s tough. People haven’t had a paycheck for a long time. People get it. Listen, so our hearts go out to them. And those people — and people need to make money. TITUS: Right. LEMON: They need to earn a living to take care of themselves and their families. And I think everybody gets that. But let’s — I want to talk about this recent CDC report. It showed how quickly the virus can spread in a restaurant. And when you think of the casino, Anderson had this up, casino filled with people pulling on slot machine levers, passing and playing cards and chips. Does it sound like a breeding ground for a surge, you think? TITUS: Well, we don’t want that to happen. And you have got some of the best people, the best minds working on plans to phase in so you don’t open everything up at once. But that’s right. People will be crowded on casino floors. They’ll be in shows. They’ll be shopping. They’ll be at restaurants. They’ll be at sporting events. You know, that’s a new aspect of Las Vegas with the Knights and the Raiders and the women’s’ basketball. So, those are places where people like to gather. They like to have fun. They like to be with friends and family. So, you cannot open that up too quickly. You know, I get over 100 calls in my local office every day. People are scared. They are frustrated. But very few are angry. They’re not saying, why don’t you open up sooner? They’re saying how do I get my check or how do I get unemployment? Help me make it through this. And I think that’s very telling.

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