An upcoming CNN town hall on the coronavirus pandemic will feature 17-year-old Greta Thunberg alongside a panel of medical experts .
The program, “Coronavirus Facts and Fears,” also includes CNN broadcaster Sanjay Gupta, 50, former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, 71 and former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Richard Besser, 60. CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, 52, will host alongside Gupta.
However, social media watchdogs are foaming at the mouth over the choice to place a teen climate activist on a panel with public health experts.
“What place does Greta Thunberg have in this town hall?” asks Twitter rabble rouser Yashar Ali to his 618,000 followers. His rhetorical question was liked by more than 12,000 since this morning.
Her name is a top trending term on Twitter, with some 30,000 mentions on the platform in just a few hours.
In a follow-up tweet, Ali clarified his rhetorical tweet with an explanation: “I understand that but this is a panel of top health experts and administrators. A climate activist would be better suited on a different panel. She’s not a climate scientist. It’s a matter of placement.”
Former acting CDC director Richard Besser, former HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius and activist Greta Thunberg join @AndersonCooper & @DrSanjayGupta for a live #CNNTownHall. Coronavirus – Facts and Fears, Thursday at 8 p.m. ET pic.twitter.com/I4FrXgwaL6
— CNN (@CNN) May 13, 2020
CNN’s social media was soon served with an onslaught of virtual eye-rolls.
“Greta Thunberg? Now, she’s a COVID expert? @CNN is a joke!” reads a top response to the network’s Wednesday announcement.
“Not picking on the kid,” said another. “Picking on a ‘news’ network for featuring a child to inform the public.”
“I remember when my thread about E. coli in Romaine lettuce went viral and trended on Twitter only to have CNN put Food Babe on the air to discuss the issue,” tweeted Dr. Eugene Gu, referring to another controversial health “expert” in the media. “Greta Thunberg on this panel is an improvement from that at least.”
Some have come to Thunberg’s defense, including more than a few public figures, arguing that the voice of the youth, who will come to inherit an Earth doomed by future pandemics and climate disaster, may actually have something to add to the conversation.
Source: NY Post