The mayor of Las Vegas, Nevada has called on businesses throughout the city to reopen. In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Independent Carolyn Goodwin once again asserted that privately-owned businesses should decide for themselves when it's safe to open their doors once again. Goodwin has also refused to offer or enforce any sort of social distancing guidelines, despite the global spread of coronavirus.
"I am not a private owner. That's the competition in this country," Goodwin said. "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. That's not the mayor's job."
The mayor's comments come as a number of states have started to approach their pre-planned dates to lift social distancing guidelines, which would allow multiple public-facing businesses to open after being shut down for weeks to help slow the spread. However, several local leaders are heeding the warning of health officials that it's too early to make such a decision, and are either extending their existing mandates or revising them for a more cautioned approach to reopening.
President Donald Trump had previously stated that it would be up to individual governors to decide when their states would be safe to reopen, walking back his previous comments about his "total" authority. "America wants to be open, and Americans want to be open," Trump said at a press conference on Thursday. "Based on the latest data, our team of experts agree we can start the next front in our war, which we are calling Opening Up America Again, and that is what we are doing, opening up our country, and we have to do that."
Certain states have already relaxed certain aspects of their guidelines. Florida recently re-opened their beaches, despite the widespread criticism state officials had received about their handling of the pandemic for weeks. Additionally, Georgia will allow bowling alleys, gyms, hair salons, nail salons and barbershops to open their doors starting on Friday.
As of Wednesday, there are currently 839,836 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with 182,359 deaths and 706,733 recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins University. For up-to-date information on the ongoing pandemic, the University offers some here.