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Controversy Sparks After Greta Thunberg Included On Panel About Coronavirus

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Controversy Sparks After Greta Thunberg Included On Panel About Coronavirus

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has been included on a CNN Town Hall panel.

While that might not sound strange to people who have watched the teenager speak about the dangers of climate change in a raft of different forums, the topic of conversation for this latest debate has nothing to do with climate.

Instead, CNN has billed the event as 'Coronavirus - Facts and Fears'.

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Thunberg will be joined by former acting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Richard Besser, former US Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, CNN's Anderson Cooper and the network's Chief Medical Correspondent and Associate Professor of Neurosurgery Dr Sanjay Gupta.

The heavy hitting team will be discussing everything about the pandemic, which has led to questions as to why Ms Thunberg has been included.

Reacting to the news on social media, one person wrote: "Greta Thunberg? Now, she's a COVID expert? @CNN is a joke!"

Another added: "Because a teenager best known for skipping school is who CNN considers an expert virologist."

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However, there was also a chorus of support for the young woman.

Oscar-winning actor Patricia Arquette replied with: "She's has extraordinary knowledge and she is the next generation that is left to clean this mess we've made. They wouldn't have her there if she wasn't a powerful voice."

Writer Roxane Gay added: "Unqualified men appear on cable all day every day, bloviating endlessly, but Greta Thunberg is a bridge too far? OK."

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CNN hasn't revealed exactly what all the talking points are, so there could be an area where Greta can offer some of her opinion and knowledge.

In March, she shared a warning to people to stay home after experiencing symptoms similar to the virus.

She explained that testing for coronavirus is only available for people who require emergency medical treatment in Sweden - so it's impossible for her to be sure if she had the disease.

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Greta and her father started experiencing symptoms after they returned home from Greta's tour around central Europe. The tour stopped in Germany, which has been badly hit by the virus and currently has more than 174,000 cases.

Greta explained she self-isolated for two weeks when she arrived back home, fearing she had been exposed to the disease on her travels.

She wrote on Instagram: "I almost didn't feel ill. My last cold was much worse than this!

"Had it not been for someone else having the virus simultaneously I might not even have suspected anything. Then I would just have thought I was feeling unusually tired with a bit of a cough.

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"And this is what makes it so much more dangerous. Many (especially young people) might not notice any symptoms at all, or very mild symptoms. Then they don't know they have the virus and can pass it on to people in risk groups.

"We who don't belong to a risk group have an enormous responsibility, our actions can be the difference between life and death for many others."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Coronavirus

Stewart Perrie
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