During Wednesday’s interview, Cooper, 52, repeatedly pressed Goodman, 81, on her sometimes contradictory positions on Las Vegas’ coronavirus strategy. The lengthy exchange, which left both parties involved exasperated with one another, quickly went viral on social media.
Kimmel, who grew up in Las Vegas, posted on Twitter later that day, when he made it clear which side of the argument he fell on.
“The@mayoroflasvegas Carolyn Goodman should resign before lunch arrives today. She is an embarrassment to my hometown,” the 52-year-old TV personality wrote.
The @mayoroflasvegas Carolyn Goodman should resign before lunch arrives today. She is an embarrassment to my hometown.
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) April 22, 2020
Kimmel doubled down on his opinions later that night on Jimmy Kimmel Live! “Let’s put it this way, R. Kelly was watching this interview and said, ‘This woman is nuts,’ ” he said.
“Mayor Carolyn Goodman revealed her lunacy to Anderson Cooper and the whole country today,” he added. “She believes Las Vegas is ready to open the casinos now.”
The show then cut to a clip from Goodman’s interview when she attempted to defend her logic in reopening casinos in Las Vegas, despite there being more than 800,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and more than 40,000 deaths. (Nevada’s governor put the state under a stay-at-home order that he has defended as good for public health, so Goodman would not be able to reopen Las Vegas herself.)
“If you watch that back, you can see the moment when Anderson’s soul leaves his body,” Kimmel said jokingly.
“It was a long interview, she went on and on,” he continued. “You know that dizzy neighbor you try to pretended you don’t see when you pull into the garage? The gist of what she was saying was, ‘Why should we treat this virus any differently than anything else?’ ”
Jerod Harris/Getty; Matt Baron/Shutterstock Jimmy Kimmel and Carolyn Goodman
The late-night show cut to another clip from Goodman’s interview, during which Cooper took off his glasses and rubbed his face as though perturbed by her decision making.
Kimmel similarly continued to question Goodman’s logic.
“Somehow, she was elected last year with more than 80% of the vote in Las Vegas, and I can see why,” he said. “Mayor Goodman has a lot of thoughts and the one thing those thoughts have in common is that none of them make sense.”
He showed another clip from the interview. During it, Goodman questioned if social distancing has been effective after she cited the relatively low number of confirmed cases and deaths in her area. This prompted Cooper to ask her if she wants Las Vegas residents to forego social distancing as a kind of experiment to see if the virus spread is normal.
Goodman told Cooper not to “put words in my mouth.” She suggested she was referring only to herself, adding, “What I said was I offered to be a control group.”
Cutting back to Kimmel, the talk show host stood by Cooper pressuring Goodman on the topic of social distancing.
“Come on Anderson. She isn’t offering Las Vegans,” he said. “She offered them as a control group and they told her she can’t. It’s totally different.”
Before transitioning to a new topic, Kimmel joked, “Somehow Las Vegas elected every woman you’ve seen at a Baywatch slot machine to be their mayor.”
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Goodman, an independent in her third term as mayor, overwhelmingly won re-election in 2019 but is restricted from seeking a fourth term. She succeeded her husband in the office; he was mayor from 1999 to 2011.
According to a New York Times tracker, there were about 4,080 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Nevada as of Wednesday and 172 deaths, almost all of them in the Las Vegas area.
A city spokesman told PEOPLE he did not know if Goodman had been tested for the virus. He said there was no further comment and her interview spoke for itself.
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