A concert planned by CNN that was canceled over the weekend in the face of an encroaching storm was nevertheless ripped by critics as a potential COVID-19 “super spreader” event.
The event, dubbed “We Love NYC: Homecoming Concert,” was scheduled to take place in Central Park. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the concert last month when new cases of the virus were far fewer than in the weeks since.
The event was meant to ring in the reopening of the city after being mostly shut down for more than a year during the pandemic, though attendees were nevertheless going to be required to show proof they have been vaccinated for the virus.
However, the concert was canceled as Hurricane Henri approached and made landfall in nearby Rhode Island on Sunday, but not before actually getting underway and being mocked as a “super spreader” event as the gathered crowds were mostly sans masks.
“Why is CNN promoting this dangerous superspreader event in NYC?” Jason Miller, a former adviser to President Donald Trump and principal founder of the new social media platform GETTR, tweeted.
Why is CNN promoting this dangerous superspreader event in NYC? pic.twitter.com/wfy3T7BJvj
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) August 21, 2021
“I checked on the #welovenycconcert on CNN and setting aside the issue of thunderstorm/lightning … wtf were you thinking @BilldeBlasio? It’s a super-spreader event,” author and former New York prosecutor Charolotte Bismuth added.
In addition to panning the CNN-promoted concert as a super spreader, others suggested the event was also inappropriate given that the situation in Afghanistan involving the chaotic withdrawal of American citizens and military forces should have been prioritized.
“One of the worst military debacles in a lifetime, a hurricane headed for America’s largest city, and 21k people in the ICU with COVID, but sure CNN, air a concert,” the general manager of Boston.com, the Boston Globe’s digital platform, Matt Karolian, wrote.
“Nevermind all that. The pandemic is far from over. They have no f**king masks in a stupid crowd,” City University of New York journalism professor Jeff Jarvis noted as well.
A couple of hours into the concert, organizers were scrambling to shut it down as singer Barry Manilow performed as heavy rain began to fall.
“This CNN concert is amazing! Went from promising super spreader event to promising drowning in flash flood event! Yay!” comedian James Gatz wrote in a post that included a gif of falling rain in a city scene.
This CNN concert is amazing! Went from promising super spreader event to promising drowning in flash flood event! Yay! #cnn #cnnconcert #CNNSOTU #concert #cnnhomecoming #HomecomingConcert #TheHomecomingConcert #HomecomingConcertcnn #CentralPark #rain #HenriHurricane #COVID #delta pic.twitter.com/hEXDFxD39e
— James Gatz (@JimmyDuhGreek) August 22, 2021
“NYC: Let’s have a superspreader concert with @CNN! God: If you have not learned anything in the pandemic yet, I guess I will have to send you a hurricane to stop the concert,” pediatric emergency physician Dr. Daniel Schumacher posted.
The rain delay led CNN host Anderson Cooper to fill air time by interviewing some of the various artists who were there to perform. They included Manilow and Carlos Santana.
Hosts and guests on left-wing cable news outlets like CNN and MSNBC have generally saved their outrage over “super spreader” events when they can pin them on Republicans such as former President Donald Trump and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.
Last fall, for example, hosts on both networks honed in on COVID-19 rather than the occasion of Justice Amy Coney Barrett being sworn in to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, labeling the ceremony a “super spreader.”
Others have noted, too, that the same networks ripped Noem over the recent annual Sturgis motorcycle event, which drew some 700,000 people while being silent about events in liberal, Democrat-run venues and cities.
“Watching this concert that appears to be sponsored by @CNN. I’m reminded that mere days ago the channel was warning that Sturgis irresponsibly risked becoming a super spreader event with Delta spreading like wildfire. Days ago. Days. Ago,” communications specialist Jimmy Jeffries tweeted.
Watching this concert that appears to be sponsored by @CNN I’m reminded that mere days ago the channel was warning that Sturgis irresponsibly risked becoming a super spreader event with Delta spreading like wildfire. Days ago. Days. Ago. pic.twitter.com/VGuQtfuH5X
— Jimmy Jeffries (@jimmyjeffries) August 21, 2021
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