CORONAVIRUS

Brooke Baldwin Gives Lockdown-Defying Barber The Painful Truth About Coronavirus

"I’ve had it. It was not fun," the CNN anchor told a business owner who plans to defy California's stay-at-home order and reopen his barbershops.

CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on Thursday used her own battle with the coronavirus to challenge a California barbershop owner who plans to defy the state’s stay-at-home order to reopen his three shops.

Baldwin — who only returned to the air on Monday — appeared visibly aghast after Vacaville-based Juan Desmarais confirmed he didn’t care if he contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus that has now killed more than 60,000 people nationwide, and would reopen his businesses on Friday.

“My barbers’ livelihoods, as well as my own livelihood, is at stake here” if the lockdown continues, said Desmarais. He downplayed the potential health threat, claiming “a lot of us are going to get it” and “the statistical data is that we’re most likely we’re not going to die.”

Baldwin, who described her own recovery from the virus as “relentless, scary and lonely,” interjected:

Hang on, hang on, hang on, Juan. Let me jump in, because I think neither of us are doctors and I know there’s a lot of numbers being thrown out. I’ve had it. It was not fun. And I had it way better than a lot of the folks who are on ventilators and about half of the folks who are put on ventilators don’t make it out of the hospital. So I just, I don’t think you want to say, ‘Maybe it’s okay if I get it.’

Desmarais responded:

You’re a healthy young lady and you recovered from it. I’m a healthy young man and I’m gonna recover from it. I have no mitigating risks. Any of my clients who do are welcome to not come to the shop and quarantine as long as they feel necessary for their loved ones and for themselves. I’m not going to force any of my clients to come to my shop.

Baldwin said she felt for Desmarais and other Americans who want to get back to work, but wanted to point out “the reality of this virus.”

“I’m not going to live in fear. It’s not American,” Desmarais added, vowing to keep his shops open even if he receives multiple $1,000 citations.

Check out the interview here:

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