Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman pushed Anderson Cooper to the brink of sanity during a meandering and confusing interview on CNN on Wednesday afternoon.
Goodman, an independent, has called for casinos along the Vegas strip to reopen, with only the ones seeing the most infections being forced to close down instead of all of them.
The more Cooper tried to press Goodman for facts and evidence, the more the interview unraveled.
"You're talking about the disease — I'm talking about life and living," Goodman told Cooper.
"OK, that makes no sense," Cooper replied.
What was ostensibly an interview checking in on the mayor of a major American city dealing with the coronavirus went off the rails on CNN on Wednesday afternoon.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman tested CNN host Anderson Cooper's patience after offering a series of befuddling counterfactuals to his questions.
At one point Cooper removed his glasses, rubbed his eyes, and took a breath before continuing.
Goodman's profile has risen amid the coronavirus because of her calls for what's been described as a "Hunger Games" or survival-of-the-fittest approach to reopening the strip.
"Assume everybody is a carrier," the mayor told MSNBC's Katy Tur on Tuesday. "And then you start from an even slate. And tell the people what to do. And let the businesses open and competition will destroy that business if, in fact, they become evident that they have disease, they're closed down. It's that simple."
Cooper didn't have much more luck getting to the bottom of Goodman's rationale, much less what she's actively doing to keep her constituents safe beyond the governor's stay-at-home order — which she called "insanity" in a local TV news interview on Tuesday.
The crux of the confusion came down to Cooper asking Goodman about what responsibility she has to keep casino patrons and employees safe. She insisted that competition, not government oversight, was the answer.
The more Cooper pushed for factual information, the more the interview came undone.
That moment when Anderson Cooper’s soul left his body while interviewing Las Vegas’s mayor, Carolyn Goodman. @andersoncooper@LasVegasLocally#lasvegasmayor#CNN#AndersonCooper#MayorGoodmanpic.twitter.com/rGbRavCT9Y
— Michael Tushaus (@MichaelTushaus) April 22, 2020
At one point Goodman seemed to indicate she would prefer taking the placebo instead in a trial for a coronavirus treatment, which left Cooper even more confused.
Cooper also tried to show Goodman a graphic demonstrating how the virus spread person to person in China early on, with a diagram of tables popping up on the screen before Goodman cut him off.
Anderson Cooper: You're talking about encouraging hundreds of thousands of people to come to Las Vegas ... smoking, drinking, touching slot machines, breathing circulated air, doesn't that sound like a virus petri dish?!
Las Vegas Mayor: It sounds like you're being an alarmist! pic.twitter.com/meAlEMpntl
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) April 22, 2020
"Oh, you are good, Anderson — you are tough," Goodman said. "This isn't China. This is Las Vegas, Nevada."
"Wow, OK, that's really ignorant," Cooper shot back.
At another point, Cooper's patience waned as he offered a curt assessment of Goodman's performance given her role as a public servant.
"You're offering nothing other than being a cheerleader," Cooper said. "I don't understand. Do you not have any sense of responsibility?"
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