CNBC hosts Rick Santelli and Andrew Ross Sorkin went at it on Friday morning in a downright shouting match over COVID restrictions. Santelli, who’s known for his infamous 2009 rant that helped launch the Tea Party movement, kicked things off by launching into a fiery screed about how it’s not fair that “big box” retailers can be open, but restaurants are being closed as coronavirus cases continue to surge. Santelli was adamant that it makes no sense why parking lots are allowed to be jam-packed with shoppers, but dine-in seating has to be restricted.
“You can’t tell me that shutting down, which is the easiest answer, is the only answer,” Santelli argued. However, when Sorkin tried to explain that there is a very significant issue between the two (namely that shoppers are masked and largely silent while people eating in restaurants are not for extended lengths of time while also having extended conversations with dining companions), he was repeatedly interrupted, and the situation only devolved from there as Santelli refused to believe the science that packing restaurants is dangerous. Via The Hill:
“Well you don’t have to believe it, but you’re doing a disservice to the viewer,” Sorkin replied, before Santelli said, “You’re doing a disservice to the viewer. You are. You are.”
“I’m sorry, I would like to keep our viewers as healthy as humanly possible. The idea of packing people in restaurants,” Sorkin said before Santelli talked over him: “I think our viewers are smart enough to make part of those decisions on their own.”
CNBC’s Steve Liesman then asked: “How’s that working out for you Rick, look at the numbers.”
This incident is the first time that Santelli has run afoul with his thoughts on the pandemic. He was forced to apologize back in March after suggesting that it’d be “better off” if everyone got the virus to help preserve the economy. “It was just a stupid thing to say,” Santelli said during his show. “It is not appropriate in this instance, and we are resilient, both in the United States and in the globe, and that resilience will get us through. The idea of something so absurd, I just apologize, and I apologize to everyone on this segment and all my peers at CNBC.”
(Via The Hill)