Anderson Cooper is truly all of us as Las Vegas’ mayor defies science and logic to say she wants to reopen the city’s hotels and casinos
Anderson Cooper’s palpable frustration while interviewing the mayor of Las Vegas was truly relatable to those baffled by the US coronavirus response.
“I want our restaurants open. I want our small businesses open. I want people back in employment,” Goodman told Cooper.
“I’d love everything open because I think we’ve had viruses for years that have been here,” she added. “I want us open in the city of Las Vegas so our people can go back to work.”
While Cooper empathised with the economic challenges faced by Nevadans as tourist attractions remain closed, he expressed concern that no testing was being done before they re-open.
Anderson Cooper says Las Vegas could become ‘petri dish’.
He warned Las Vegas could feasibly become a “petri dish” of infection as visitors travel to the city and carry the infection back to their home states.
“You’re being an alarmist,” Goodman told Cooper. As to how to protect the staff and visitors at casinos and hotels, she said: “That’s up to them to figure out.”
She explained that as she herself is not a hotel or casino owner it is not her responsibility to ensure how the industry is controlling the spread of the virus — and anyway, Las Vegas is “the entertainment capital of the world where everything is clean”.
We imagine at this point, Cooper must have been wondering if they were talking about the same city.
Despite the frustration no doubt raging inside him, Cooper managed to keep a stony face as he continued asking questions the mayor struggled or refused to answer, including why her actions are diverging from the advice of scientists she claims to be listening to.
He then confronted her with an image of a restaurant in China showing how an asymptomatic person in a restaurant spread the virus to nine other diners.
The mayor simply dismissed the evidence in front of her, saying: “No, this isn’t China. This is Las Vegas, Nevada.”
“Wow, OK. That’s really ignorant,” Cooper replied. “That’s an ignorant statement. Yes it’s in China, but they are human beings too.”
The interview quickly attracted widespread criticism, with one veteran Nevada journalist calling it “the single most embarrassing thing” he had seen from a state politician in 35 years.
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You can watch the full, baffling interview below.