CNN Anchor Blasts Barber Shop Owner Who Plans to Reopen for Business

Another day, another CNN anchor explains to Americans why they can’t go back to work.

Brooke Baldwin seemed to do her best Thursday to stump a guest over his decision to reopen his three California barber shops despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s strict shelter-in-place orders.

Juan Desmarais, the owner and former Marine, said he has been hurt financially over the shutdown and it is now time that his business takes the proper precautions and reopens. Like many Americans outside the cozy confines of a news studio, Desmarais said it is no longer sustainable for him to stay locked down. He said nobody is going to “bail us out” and his livelihood is at stake.

Baldwin, who has recovered from the coronavirus, tried to explain the seriousness of the disease.

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“I 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,” she said. “So I don’t think you want to say, maybe, that it’s ‘OK if I get it.”


Desmarais handled her comment with ease. He pointed out that any of his clients concerned about transmission are free not to patronize his shops.

“I’m a healthy young man, I’m going to recover from it,” he said. “I have no mitigating risks. Any of my clients that do are welcome to not come to my shop and quarantine as long as they feel necessary for their loved ones and for themselves.”

Desmarais, who worked in law enforcement for a decade, said he can’t just walk away from the business. He said he has paid his rent, state license fees and his utility bills.

“So your [Newsom] telling me to invest in an opportunity I made for myself, but not be able to work and return that investment,” he said. “That’s just not acceptable.”

She asked how much he charges for haircuts if the fines in the state could be $1,000.

“I’d rather get citations, do as much as I can, work and hustle, not ask the government for a single penny and if I flop, I’d rather flop working than just sitting there letting them take away my rights.”

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