Star journalist Magda Gad, currently Expressen's correspondent in the Middle East, has sparked a controversy with her recent tweet about underage climate activist Greta Thunberg and the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.
Gad called 17-year-old Thunberg, who rose to prominence through her doomsday rhetoric, emotional speeches, and “school strikes”, “the prophet of the century”, a trope previously used by the Archbishop of Sweden.
According to Gad, the world has now followed Thunberg's advice and stopped flying and consuming and is ending capitalism due to the corona crisis. All because the “right” people started dying.
It seems as @GretaThunberg is the prophet of the century. She said: stop flying, stop consuming, end capitalism, produce locally. And so we did. When the ”right” people started dying. #COVID2019 #CoronavirusOutbreak #corona #environment #schoolstrike4climate— Magda Gad (@gad_media) March 17, 2020
Gad's tweet raised many eyebrows from fellow Swedes, many of whom found it “strange”.
“I don't get it. The 'right' people? Or have I been isolated in the woods for too long and become slow on the uptake?” one mused.
Hänger inte med här. The "right" people? Eller har jag isolerat mig för länge i skogen och blivit trögtänkt 🤪?— M Ågren (@agren_jana) March 17, 2020
“It is time for Greta to leave activism, go home to Sweden and let the real experts take over”, another one ventured.
Some wondered who she meant by the “right people” and pointed out that the virus disproportionately affects the elderly and the sick.
You seem to be glad that your prophet is right.— Parcifal 🇩🇰🇸🇪🇪🇺 (@parcifaal) March 17, 2020
Generally elderly, sick , weak people with low access to medical treatment are the victims.
That's so sad.
“You mean the elderly and the sick? Do you call them the 'right' people? Still nice of you to come out as a communist. Do you want to destroy capitalism as well or what?”
Du menar äldre och sjuka? Kallar du det rätt människor? Kul ändå att du kommer ut som kommunist. Vill du förgöra kapitalismen eller vad sysslar du med?— Patrik Olsson 🍀🇸🇪 (@SakurabaKS) March 17, 2020
“Is this irony, or do you seriously think it's good for Europeans and Americans to die now?” another one replied.
Är detta ironi, eller menar du allvar med att det är bra att européer och amerikaner dör nu?— JBY (@JohannaBamyoh) March 17, 2020
Some bluntly asked if Gad was okay or if she had a fever. Many inquired whether she had been hit in the head by shrapnel from a grenade.
Others simply suggested it was “cynical and morbid”.
That’s quite cynical and morbid. People are dying. Stop celebrating it. What’s wrong with you people?— Betongkopf (@betongkopf) March 17, 2020
Still others said that while they respected Gad's journalistic work, including Middle East coverage, they would unsubscribe.
Gad ealier tweeted that the authorities' recommendations to work from home if possible were unfair to people who can't as they work in overcrowded refugee camps, prisons, military facilities, and so on.
“What about the ones living in overcrowded refugee camps, prisons, military bases, soldiers at frontlines, homeless under bridges, etc. Did this fight become a fight for certain kind of people who can work from home, order online and avoid crowds? Hello?” Gad tweeted.
What about the ones living in overcrowded refugee camps, prisons, military bases, soldiers at frontlines, homeless under bridges, etc. Did this fight become a fight for certain kind of people who can work from home, order online and avoid crowds? Hello?#COVIDー19 #Coronavirus— Magda Gad (@gad_media) March 16, 2020
Magda Gad is a Swedish war correspondent and Middle East analyst for numerous media outlets, currently sharing her time between Baghdad, Iraq and Kabul, Afghanistan. She is one of a few western journalists to have gained access to the Taliban.
Gad is known for covering the 2016 assault on Mosul in Iraq and in-depth stories about the drug-affected ghettos in Romania in 2016, the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and the war between drug cartels in Honduras.
Over the years, Gad has amassed a slew of awards, including the Swedish Pulitzer prize, the Swedish Emmy Award, and the European Newspaper Award.