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CNN writer gripes about lack of diversity on President Trump's coronavirus team


Reality check: This disease is killing people

John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

While governments around the world work to address the fast-moving outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus, a CNN political writer complained that the team working on the disease for the Trump administration just isn't diverse enough.

A Thursday post at CNN post took issue with a Tuesday tweet sent out by President Donald Trump on Tuesday with pictures of a briefing he received on the virus from administration officials.

"Just received a briefing on the Coronavirus in China from all of our GREAT agencies, who are also working closely with China," Trump wrote. "We will continue to monitor the ongoing developments. We have the best experts anywhere in the world, and they are on top of it 24/7!"

"Who are these experts?" CNN political writer Brandon Tensley asked. "They're largely the same sorts of white men (and a couple women on the sidelines) who've dominated the Trump administration from the very beginning."

The article went on to compare Trump's coronavirus advisers to the ones former President Barack Obama employed in response to the 2014 ebola crisis.

"Neither was it so abysmal in terms of gender diversity. (Of course, to contextualize, Obama's administration, on the whole, was far more diverse than Trump's.)," Tensley wrote.

"And yet, as unsurprising as the diversity issue in the Trump era has become, it's still worth pointing out from time to time, especially as the country approaches the 2020 presidential election in earnest," the piece continued, "partly because the recent photos of "the best experts" telegraph the kinds of people the administration deems worthy of holding power — and even being in close proximity to it."

Complaining about the amount of racial diversity of a group of people trying to combat the spread of a deadly virus may sound fairly absurd to those concerned about actually combatting a deadly new virus' spread, especially given the fact that the post went out the same day as the World Health Organization declared an emergency of "international concern" over the issue.

Understandably, the complaint took some criticism on social media.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus continues to spread. American health officials announced Thursday the first person-to-person transfer of the disease in the U.S. as the number of confirmed cases worldwide has surpassed those of the 2002-03 SARS outbreak on the same day.

According to Reuters, a Chinese official said Friday morning that the number of deaths resulting from the virus had hit 213 and the number of confirmed cases in the country had risen to over 9,800.

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