“During any crisis, the most vulnerable people are always hit the hardest, namely children,” he said.
“Especially in the southern hemisphere, people in the poorest parts of the world, especially people living in conflict zones and refugee camps,” he added.
Appearing in a CNN Coronavirus town hall, hosted by Anderson Cooper and CNN correspondent physician correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Thunberg faced disinformation about the disease, including how Covid-19 was initially believed to affect only older people.
“Yes, this affects the elderly a lot, but we must also remember that this is also a crisis of children’s rights,” he warned, “because children are the most vulnerable in societies.”
“Children get the virus and spread it too.”
A model for many young people around the world, seventeen-year-old Thunberg self-isolated from her family earlier this year after believing she had contracted the virus, although it has never been tested.
He explained that in his home country of Sweden, “don’t get tested if you don’t need medical attention.”
Thunberg self-isolated because, he said, it was “the right thing to do.”
Despite having had what he describes as mild symptoms, he has posted his experience on social media to increase awareness of the virus and the appropriate actions to take.
“Many people don’t even notice they have symptoms and therefore they could spread the virus without even knowing it,” he said.
“So we have to be very careful, because our actions can make the difference between life and death for many others.”
The money will be used by UNICEF’s coronavirus emergency programs to supply supplies such as soap, masks, toilet kits and gloves, he explained.
“We are talking about washing our hands and staying at home but for many people around the world they don’t have access to clean water or toilet, to soap,” he said.
“They may not even have a home to stay at home.”
“That’s why we need to help people most vulnerable to this crisis in ways we might not think of in the north of the world,” he added.
Despite sounding the alarm for the virus, Thunberg said he sees a silver coating for all of this.
“People are starting to realize that we actually depend on science and that we have to listen to scientists and experts.
“And I really hope it stays,” he said, adding that he hopes it will apply to other crises “such as the climate crisis and the environmental crisis.”
Thunberg’s appearance on CNN’s Coronavirus town hall has sparked criticism from some, who accused her of not being an expert on the virus. However, the teenager herself made it clear on Twitter that she never appears as an expert and neither does she. Rather, she is an activist with a large following of young people and is trying to shed light on the impact this virus will have on future generations.
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