CNN has officially tapped Greta Thunberg to be on their upcoming town hall panel "Coronavirus: Facts and Fears." While not an epidemiologist, scientist, researcher, virologist, or official with any governmental power, Thunberg is a high school student from Sweden who is famous for not attending high school, and being angry about it.
In a speech to world leaders in Davos, Switzerland last year, Thunberg said that "I want you to panic." Of climate change, she said "Our house is on fire. I am here to say, our house is on fire."
Perhaps that’s why CNN is bringing Thunberg in, along with former CDC Director Richard Besser, and former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, because they really are panicking.
No, this is not a joke, it is reality in 2020. Who can help us solve the problem of a pandemic panic? The girl who wants us to panic, of course, is CNN's answer.
Chris Cuomo, the CNN anchor who made a whole show of emerging from his basement after quarantining due to his own coronavirus infection and despite having been seen in public before his basement escape, has called CNN the "facts first" network. CNN pundits routinely bash other news outlets for calling upon fake experts, but dragging out a teen climate change activist who wants the world to act like its collective hair is on fire to discuss how to handle a pandemic is a bit absurd.
CNN is the same network that questions those doctors and medical advisors like Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx who routinely step up to the podium at White House coronavirus briefings to give the nation some idea of what’s going on at the federal level. Yet in their view, a teen activist who has made her bones telling everyone to freak out is a reliable source of information and insight.
Perhaps Thunberg will talk about how cutting down forests and destroying natural habitats brings us into closer contact with those animals, like bats, that harbour these viruses. Maybe she will suggest we panic, or pivot, like Joe Biden suggests, from the outrage and freak outs over coronavirus to outrage and freak outs over climate change. This is an attempt to change the narrative to one the Democrats have already been writing for decades, and CNN is fully on board.
The coronavirus crisis puts Thunberg in an awkward position as an eco-activist as many of her contemporaries have actually gone so far as to praise the global pandemic for reducing the world’s carbon footprint, a result of everyone being at home in quarantine.
Like many progressive thought leaders, the pandemic has stolen Thunberg's thunder. And while it makes no sense for a child best known for skipping school to join an "expert" panel to dispel myths and present scientific facts, it's no doubt a wonderful PR move. As for the specific venue, it won’t be the first time CNN has attempted to pass off an under-educated, overexposed trendy figurehead as an expert. It's basically all they do these days.