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CNN’s Baldwin Confronts Barbershop Owner Saying ‘I Don’t Care’ If I Get Coronavirus: ‘I’ve Had It. It Was Not Fun’

CNN’s Brooke Baldwin had an intense back-and-forth on Thursday with a California business owner who plans on violating the state’s coronavirus lockdown policies and reopen his barber shops.

Just days after her return to CNN following her battle with the coronavirus, Baldwin interviewed Juan Desmarais about his intention to violate California’s stay-at-home orders. The conversation began with the CNN anchor pressing Desmarais on the legal penalties and health risks at play, while Desmarais countered by saying he will take sanitary precautions, adding, “my barbers’ livelihoods as well as my own livelihood is at stake here.”

Baldwin acknowledged the pandemic’s economic devastation, but the discussion began to simmer when she said to Desmarais “I read something you told my producer where you basically said ‘I don’t care if I get it’…Do you still feel that way?”

Desmarais didn’t deny the characterization of his remarks.

“Absolutely,” Desmarais said. “A lot of us are going to get it. The statistical data is that we’re most likely not going to die.”

This prompted Baldwin to interject and detail her own experience with the virus.

“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 put on ventilators don’t make it out of the hospital. So just, I don’t think you want to say, maybe, it’s okay if I get it.”

“You’re a healthy young lady and you recovered from it. I’m a healthy young man and I’m gonna recover from it,” Desmarais doubled down. “I have no underlying risks. Any of my clients who do are welcome to not come to the shop and quarantine as long as they feel necessary…”

Baldwin offered sympathy for Desmarais’ situation, but stuck to her statistics about “the reality of this virus” and asked him what he’ll do if he ends up getting fined for breaking quarantine.

“I’m not going to live in fear. It’s not American,” Desmarais answered as the two of them continued to have at it over the possible consequences.

Watch above, via CNN.

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