Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2020

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Fiore on the homeless and coronavirus: ‘Let them play in dirt’

People Call for Fiore's resignation at City Council Meeting

Steve Marcus

Las Vegas City Councilwoman Michele Fiore listens to speakers in a public comment session during a city council meeting at Las Vegas City Hall Wednesday, June 17, 2020.

When it comes to coronavirus, homeless people are like kids: “Let them play in dirt. They don’t get sick,” Las Vegas Councilwoman Michele Fiore said today.

Fiore made the comments at a council meeting during a discussion about continued testing efforts, especially for vulnerable populations like the homeless and nursing home residents.

“We’re looking at testing our homeless. Guess what? Our homeless prove to be the most population with the less positive tests,” Fiore said.

“Our homeless, it’s like kids. Let them play in dirt. They don’t get sick,” she said.

Fiore did not offer any data to back up her claims.

Fiore said too much focus is being placed on testing and not enough on helping the unemployed and businesses, some targeted by the state “because of different political affiliations.”

“People are dying without funds. Evictions are going to happen. Our unemployment system is broken all in the name of COVID.Our kids are getting beat. Domestic violence is up, all in the name of COVID. So, at what point is COVID the problem?” Fiore said.

Clark County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, who briefed the council on efforts being taken to fight the virus, said public health must remain the “No. 1 priority. Second priority is economics.”

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman also weighed in, complaining about conflicting guidance on virus safety measures and questioning how people who test positive for the virus should be identified.

“What are we going to do, put a mark on everybody because I tested positive? So, everybody will say, ‘Don’t go near that person because they tested positive and I don’t want to be near them.’ This is something that could really get out of hand," Goodman said.

It wasn’t clear why Goodman thinks people with coronavirus would be publicly identified. Federal law regulates the disclosure of private medical records.