Greta Thunberg on coronavirus expert panel? Climate activist's inclusion in CNN's town hall stirs controversy

Shortly after the announcement, social media mocked the network's decision for taking the teen on the panel consisting of reputed health experts

                            Greta Thunberg on coronavirus expert panel? Climate activist's inclusion in CNN's town hall stirs controversy
(Getty Images)

CNN, on Wednesday, May 13, announced that teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg will feature in its next expert panel townhall program on coronavirus on its channel. Shortly after the announcement, social media mocked the network's decision for including the teen on a panel of reputed health experts on the deadly virus.

The town hall is set to be hosted by 'AC 360' anchor Anderson Cooper and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and will also include former acting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Richard Besser, former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius along with Thunberg. The townhall titled "Coronavirus - Facts and Fears", is set to air on Thursday, May 14, at 8 pm ET.

CNN soon drew flak for including the teenage activist in the experts' panel, with Ben Shapiro questioning the network's "level of self-awareness" on Twitter.

"Is there anyone at CNN with any level of self-awareness? Featuring Greta Thunberg on a covid-19 expert panel is just beyond words. I actually cannot believe they are this insane/stupid," Shapiro tweeted.

Teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg delivers brief remarks surrounded by other student environmental advocates during a strike to demand action be taken on climate change outside the White House on September 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

While Joe Walsh also took a dig at President Donald Trump along with Thunberg. He tweeted: "Can we all agree that neither Donald Trump nor Greta Thunberg should ever be considered as experts on the Coronavirus?"

Washington Examiner's Brad Polumbo wrote an opinion piece, stating that it was "beyond parody," slamming "liberal journalists."

"The same liberal journalists who have scolded people for so much as questioning the wisdom of the federal government’s top coronavirus experts, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, are now literally telling people to get their scientific analysis from Greta Thunberg," he wrote in his piece

"Greta Thunberg, a girl who has skipped school to protest the climate, being tapped to be on a #coronavirus global town hall is an attack on genuine expertise. CNN is saying that you can be an expert on anything if you are famous and ideologically pure," a social media user wrote.

While another mocked the choice, writing: "So CNN is now having a #CNNTownHall with noted epidemiologist Greta Thunberg. I guess Doogie Howser, MD., was on call." A third wrote: "I am not a part of the "irrational hatred of all things Greta Thunberg brigade" but she is in no way an expert on infectious disease and her inclusion as an expert on a coronavirus panel is ridiculous and insulting."

Founder of Fridays For Future Greta Thunberg (L) and co-founder of This Is Zero Hour and plaintiff in Piper v. State of Washington Jamie Margolin (R) testify during a House Foreign Affairs Committee Europe on September 23 in New York. (Getty Images)

"Ah yes, the esteemed virologist Greta Thunberg who has just passed her ninth grade exams," another wrote.

There were several others who backed the young climate crusader, pointing out that many of the users mocking CNN's decision were conservatives and highlighted President Trump and his controversial suggestion of considering injecting oneself with disinfectants as a possible coronavirus treatment.

"The same conservatives who are perfectly fine with the President yelling over experts and telling people to drink bleach are now crying about Greta Thunberg being included in a panel," one user wrote.

"God, the number of old white dudes pissed that Greta Thunberg should have a voice on national TV is astounding. Right because public health & ecology clearly have nothing to do with each other, as we face a rise in Zoonotic diseases and a system unable to consider life and planet," another wrote defending the teen climate activist. 

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