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13 May, 2020 16:45

‘The Onion can’t keep up with CNN’: Network’s coronavirus town hall to feature… expert Greta Thunberg

‘The Onion can’t keep up with CNN’: Network’s coronavirus town hall to feature… expert Greta Thunberg

CNN’s latest installment of its ‘Facts and Fears’ town hall on the coronavirus pandemic will feature teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg as one of its experts. What expertise Thunberg can offer on the virus is a mystery.

The town hall, due to broadcast on Thursday, will feature former acting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Richard Besser, former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg.

Besser is a doctor and Sebelius is an experienced politician. Thunberg, by contrast, has no apparent knowledge on infectious diseases or public health policy, and instead spent the last two years lecturing lawmakers and the public on the dangers of global warming, most notably when she delivered a tear-soaked speech to the United Nations last year, accusing world leaders of stealing her “childhood” with their “empty words” on the environment.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, CNN’s ‘Facts and Fears’ has offered viewers a blend of hard debate and cringeworthy moments. Joe Biden, for example, was mocked last month for stuttering through a monologue on the environment, before asking former Vice President Al Gore whether it is “too late to aggress the climate change.” 

Likewise, some viewers were confused by the network’s decision to feature director Spike Lee on the same show earlier this month.

CNN has not yet stated what expertise Thunberg will bring to the table. Prior to her upcoming appearance, Thunberg has kept quieter this year than last, surfacing on Earth Day last month to remind the world that the coronavirus shouldn’t overshadow the “climate crisis.”

Some commenters on Twitter were puzzled by Thunberg’s inclusion. “The Onion or The Babylon Bee can’t even keep up with CNN when it comes to parody,” one wrote. “This could be a meme,” another mocked.

Despite giving Thunberg airtime, CNN refused last month to air President Trump’s full Coronavirus Task Force briefings, with host Anderson Cooper accusing the president of attempting to “rewrite history” with his then-daily press conferences.

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