CNN reporter mocked following realization COVID-shaming exists: ‘Here we go again’

CNN politics reporter and editor-at-large Chris Cillizza was mocked by critics Tuesday after posting an extensive Twitter thread admitting he’d come to the realization that people were afraid of being shamed for contracting the coronavirus earlier in the pandemic. 

“I’ve noticed something amid this Omicron surge that’s made me reconsider the first 20 months of this pandemic,” Cillizza wrote. “For months and months, no one I came into contact with admitted they had Covid. Not neighbors. Not co-workers. Not friends. Not acquaintances. No one.”

“Except that, with Omicron surging and lots and lots of people now getting it, I’ve found some of these same people telling me they had it last fall or at the start of the pandemic or whenever,” he added. “Which is fascinating to me. Because it suggests that they were embarrassed or scared to say they (or their family) had it before.”

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Cillizza went on to say that society had unknowingly turned contracting coronavirus into a judgement on a person’s character and a sign that someone was not being responsible or careful enough. However, the emergence of the omicron variant, he claimed, had worn off some of the stigma associated with getting the virus. 

“Which is a good thing! We need to recognize that getting Covid isn’t a moral failing! It’s a super infectious disease that you can protect against, sure, but can’t guarantee you won’t get it,” Cillizza wrote. “Anyway, just an observation. Stay safe and stay healthy.”

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Critics were quick to respond, mocking Cillizza for being just another CNN crew member coming to a realization that others had already known throughout the pandemic. Some lamented that Cillizza hadn’t come to the realization sooner, while others suggested he, and society, “knowingly” shamed people rather than “unknowingly,” as he claimed.

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One critic argued that there wasn’t actually a negative stigma associated with the virus, but that it was actually “shaming by the left,” while another critic jokingly reacted to Cillizza’s post by posting a picture of fictional mob boss Tony Soprano speaking to his psychiatrist. 

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Cillizza’s realization concerning the pandemic followed criticism CNN received earlier this week for a piece admitting that obesity was linked to serious illness or death when contracting the coronavirus. Critics pointed out that knowledge about the link was already well-known across the country, and had been for more than a year before CNN decided to publish the piece.

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