Restaurant owner reminds cocky Cuomo of when he broke COVID ‘rules’ — it went downhill from there

A California restaurant owner engaged in a contentious back-and-forth with CNN’s Chris Cuomo Wednesday over his prohibition against wearing masks in his eatery and customers who are vaccinated for COVID-19, at one point calling out the host’s hypocrisy for breaking quarantine when he had the virus.

The owner, Tony Roman, earlier posted a sign in his restaurant saying that customers had to prove they were not vaccinated to enter, leading Cuomo to ask if it was just a “stunt.”

“You’re a smart guy,” Roman responded, which set the tone for the rest of the interview.

“It’s an IQ test. And like I say to people when they ask me, if they’re so blinded with their rage and their hate I tell them, ‘You know what, if you still don’t understand it, maybe we should put up a sign up that says you’re too stupid to come into the restaurant.’ I mean it’s very simple. Just like you said, I think you figured it out, am I right?” Roman said.

(Video: CNN)

“I don’t even know what you’re saying right now,” Cuomo responded.

“I’m sayin’ we’re making a point,” Roman said.

Earlier, Roman wrote on his restaurant’s Facebook page, “More American counties, cities, and businesses doubling down on anti-American lockdown mandates? Well ‘Basilico’s Pasta e Vino’ just tripled down: From day one, never complied, banned masks, and now…requiring proof of being Un-vaccinated!”

Cuomo went on to ask Roman if he and his family were vaccinated, to which he replied that they were not before asking if Cuomo and his family were. The host responded in the affirmative, leading Roman to reply, “You’re failing the IQ test — which I expected.”

“What you’re not getting is that this is not an anti-vaccine stand, this is a pro-freedom stand, that’s what you’re not getting,” Roman continued.

Cuomo questioned the restaurant owner’s stance and asked him why he wouldn’t get vaccinated and ask for patrons to mask-up if “the science” says it will help get over the pandemic sooner.

“So what’s next then? Are we all gonna lock ourselves in our homes whenever there’s a flu outbreak or there’s an outbreak of a cold, a common cold…and wear a moon suit? I mean, where does it end?” Roman responded.

That didn’t wash with Cuomo, who claimed that more Americans should get vaccinated so that COVID-19 won’t continue to “replicate” and perpetuate itself.

“The whole reason this is happening is because people won’t protect themselves. I mean, what are you thinking?” Cuomo asked.

“Then why did you leave your house when you had COVID? I mean, you had it, and you left your house. It’s been documented,” Roman responded.

“I quarantined. I went out. My wife got accosted by somebody,” Cuomo argued.

In fact, according to reports at the time, Cuomo broke quarantine and was seen outside his home interacting with his wife and children when he became upset at a bystander who called him out for it.

Later, Cuomo ranted about the incident on his SiriusXM radio show, blasting the man as a ” jack*ss, loser fat-tire biker being able to pull over and get in my space and talk bullsh*t to me.”

According to reports, Cuomo’s wife went over to an older man on a bike who asked why her husband was out of quarantine.

Cuomo then reportedly quickly confronted the man, saying,  “Who the hell are you?! I can do what I want! I’ll find out who you are!”

Eventually, Cuomo’s wife and son contracted the virus.

Not long after, CNN and Cuomo made a production out of him the moment he ’emerged’ from his basement to officially end quarantine, which led to much mocking and derision after the host had been caught out of quarantine already by the biker at Cuomo’s East Hampton, New York, property.

“Alright, here it is… the official re-entry from the basement, cleared by the CDC,” Cuomo narrated as he came out of his basement in his home in the Hamptons. “This is what I’ve been dreaming of, literally, for weeks.”


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Jon Dougherty


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