"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 regard 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.
Dear Las @Vegas. It would appear that your @mayoroflasvegas Carolyn Goodman is dangerously misguided. I am not easily shocked anymore, but the interview she is doing with @andersoncooper@cnn right now is bonkers.
Please can someone from Las Vegas explain how this women became your mayor? I’m not being sarcastic. I genuinely want to know. She’s seems completely batshit crazy, but maybe today isn’t a fair representation of who she is?! #andersoncooper#lasvegasmayor
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 regard 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.
Cooper later interviewed Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, who was adamant that Las Vegas would not be reopening.
“When we do it, we’re gonna do it right,” Sisolak said about when the city will reopen. “But I’m not gonna allow our workers to be put in a position where they have to decide between their job and their paycheck, and their life. That’s not a fair position to put them in, and I will not allow that to happen.”
“I’m following medical advice, and scientists, and statisticians, and they've exposed to me what we're really dealing with in terms of the metrics and having to follow a graph and the model that's been established,” the governor added. “I look at certain criteria. I look at hospitalizations as it relates to COVID-19, intensive care unit hospitalizations, ventilator usage, percent of positive tests versus tests that we've given. And they need those to have plateaued and begin the trajectory downward.”