Sparks fly as Las Vegas mayor and CNN's Anderson Cooper spar over reopening city: 'This isn't China'

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It started as a harmless, ordinary afternoon interview on CNN, with Anderson Cooper inviting Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman to talk about her stance on the city's shutdown. By the end, the interview was a trending topic on Twitter in the United States.

RELATED: Reopening California: Here's when researchers project California can start to lift restrictions

"I want our restaurants open, I want our small businesses open, I want our people back in employment," said Goodman, when giving her opening opinion on why she wants to see her city's businesses and economy reopen. "We have so many families who can't even afford to get the groceries for their families because they've been out of work for 6 weeks."

Within minutes, the jabs got more and more direct.

The interview went viral as it was happening, with well-known Las Vegas native Jimmy Kimmel, host of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on ABC, slamming the mayor in a series of tweets.



In one particularly fiery moment, Cooper brought up a graphic from Chinese researchers, demonstrating the spread of COVID-19 from person to person.

"Oh, you are good. Anderson, you are tough," Goodman interrupted. "We're back to China, this isn't China. This is Las Vegas, Nevada."

"Wow," Cooper replied, "OK, that's really ignorant."

RELATED: Grocery store supply returning to normal but don't plan on finding hand sanitizer anytime soon

Goodman has been a strong and steady opponent of Nevada's decision to close the state's casinos. In the interview, Mayor Goodman said that is now time to see professional sports stadiums back open within the city, as well as see major conventions return to town.

Goodman argued on the point that Las Vegas is struggling with the city's 155,000 hotel rooms currently closed, claiming that many of her town's citizens have their livelihoods linked to those rooms in some way, either through employment or the related tourist business.

Watch the video above for some of the highlights of Goodman and Cooper's Wednesday exchange.

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here

RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.