CNN's John Berman corners NYC art gallery owner over rant about having to mask up again
CNN screenshot

Appearing on CNN's "New Day" on Friday, morning the owner of a New York City art gallery was put on the post by host John Berman for one of his tweets furiously opposing the possibility of new mask mandates to stop the spread of the New COVID-19 variant.

Eli Klein, owner of a gallery bearing his name, tweeted: "A mask mandate is a slowdown for all indoor entertainment venues, stadiums, gyms, theaters, concert halls, clubs, malls, stores, OFFICES, etc. People don't want to do these things if they have to cover their face. Wearing a mask removes joy, normality & comfort from activities," before later adding, "A mask mandate would diminish tourism & beat up those already crushed by Covid restrictions. It would cause people to be more irrationally afraid & hesitant to engage in aspects of life. Wearing a mask ~indefinitely is dehumanizing & can impede communication IT'S NOT JUST A MASK."



During his appearance on CNN, host Berman pressed him on whether masks works and why he doesn't see the risk of not wearing one.

"I want to know because you've been listening, here for the beginning of the show, you heard the news about the delta variant, how much more contagious it could be and the fact it could make people even sicker. does that have any impact on your view?" host Berman asked.

"No," Klein replied. "Obviously it's catastrophic news and it's something we should all take very seriously. We've been taking COVID very seriously since the beginning. and it doesn't impact my view with respect to reimplementing restrictions."

"The fact of the matter is that these vaccines are widely available, they're extraordinarily effective," he continued. "And you know, it's a matter of obviously there's issues with personal risk tolerance and whatnot, but it doesn't change the fact that reimplementing mask mandates in New York City would stunt our recovery, would diminish tourism and many aspects of life. It would crush businesses that have already been crushed."

"Okay so you don't like the idea of mask mandates," Berman continued. "What about vaccine mandates? "

"Vaccine mandates is a different question," the gallery owner stated. "I think the main problem that I have in New York City, for example, is the discriminatory aspect of it to be honest. What happened in New York is we really -- these lockdowns pushed the burden to essential workers and to minorities who are ---"

"But the vaccine is available to everybody," the CNN host interrupted.

"But they were infected disproportionately -- vaccine-hesitant disproportionately -- over 60% of Blacks in New York City aren't vaccinated, but they have higher level of natural immunity, of infection conferred immunity that isn't considered vaccinated by the CDC when the data is clear it should be," Klein attempted.

"Why not hang a sign on your gallery that says you can come in here unmasked if you're vaccinated or if you test negative for covid?" Berman pressed.

"Well, I mean, I think people know the rules," Klein replied.

'Would you be okay with the situation where you can come in unmasked, you don't have to wear a mask if you're unvaccinated?" Berman asked.

"There's no government guidelines right that are forcing me to do that, so --," Klein began only to have Berman interrupt him again with, "But you could."

"I could do anything," the gallery owner conceded. "We could always do things to be more safer."

Watch below:


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