CNN Defends Calling Coronavirus a ‘Pandemic’ When World Health Organization Has Yet to Do So (Video)

Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta told CNN’s audience the move is not intended to “cause panic,” but to “really cause a focus on preparedness”

Last Updated: March 13, 2020 @ 12:09 PM

CNN is now calling the coronavirus outbreak a “global pandemic,” in spite of the World Health Organization not yet doing so.

The network hit the ground running with the new terminology Monday morning, with chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta publishing an explainer on the digital site and appearing on “New Day” to provide more context.

“There are criteria that are somewhat defined to call something a pandemic,” Gupta explained, telling CNN’s audience the move is not intended to “cause panic,” but to “really cause a focus on preparedness.”

He pointed to the criteria the CNN team is using to define a “pandemic,” including that the virus causes illness or death, is sustained through person-to-person transmission and is spread throughout the world. Anchor Alisyn Camerota opened the segment by reminding viewers that in the United States alone, there have been 565 confirmed cases and 22 resulting deaths. Globally, there are more than 108,000 confirmed cases and 3,800 resulting deaths.

The new language from CNN came as President Donald Trump renewed his Twitter attacks on the media for, as he sees it, trying to “inflame the coronavirus situation.” For his part, Trump has been heavily criticized for his administration’s response to the outbreak. Another CNN analysis piece from the weekend, for instance, questioned whether the virus will be “Donald Trump’s Katrina.”