Anderson Cooper was not willing to cede any ground while talking with Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman on Wednesday, and the confrontational interview has drawn a lot of attention.
Mayor Goodman joined Anderson Cooper 360 via video chat, and spoke with the newsman about her recent call to reopen Las Vegas, despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Goodman — who has been vocal about her opposition to the stay-at-home order issued by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak — said her concerns revolved around the economic impact of the social distancing mandates, which included the closure of all non-essential businesses.
“I want our restaurants open, I want our small businesses open, I want our people back in employment,” Goodman said on CNN Wednesday. “We have so many families that can’t even afford to get the groceries for their family because they’ve been out of work for six weeks.”
Goodman and Cooper exchanged pointed comments as the mayor made arguments against social distancing’s efficacy and accused the government of having “misled Nevadans” in the past — specifically in regards to atomic bomb testing — and thus causing some residents to distrust officials.
Cooper, who seemed visibly irritated and frustrated, challenged Goodman directly when she attempted to dismiss information about the transmissibility of the virus according to research conducted by doctors in China.
“We’re back to China,” Goodman said. “This isn’t China, this is Las Vegas, Nevada.”
“Wow that’s really ignorant. That’s an ignorant, ignorant statement,” Cooper replied. “They’re human beings, too.”
Fans — including Jimmy Kimmel — took to Twitter to celebrate Cooper’s determined approach to grilling Goodman, and also expressed their bafflement at Goodman’s arguments, which many felt were contradictory.
Later in the interview, Cooper suggested that Goodman wasn’t taking medical precautions and commonly accepted scientific information into consideration when calling for Las Vegas to reopen amid a pandemic, and that her remarks might be irresponsible in regards to the safety of those who live in her state and elsewhere.
“You’re talking disease, I’m talking life, and living,” Goodman said in response.
“That makes no sense,” Cooper shot back.
As of Wednesday night, the United States has over 849,000 cases of COVID-19, and more then 47,600 people have died as a result of the virus. In Nevada, there have been over 4,000 cases and 172 deaths, the vast majority of which have occurred in the Las Vegas area.
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