Cheryl Kahla
Deputy Online News Editor
2 minute read
29 Nov 2021
3:58 pm

‘Fauci of South Africa’: Citizens react to CNN ‘disrespecting’ SA’s Karim

Cheryl Kahla

The image shows Professor Salim Abdool Karim as part of a panel, with the CNN banner headline reading: ''Fauci of South Africa' says he's worried about the new variant.'

Picture: Twitter

An image of US news agency CNN purportedly referring to South African epidemiologist, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, as the “Fauci of Africa” has caused quite a stir on social media.

The image was shared by Sherwin Bryce-Pease, the SABC’s UN bureau chief in New York.

Disclaimer: The authenticity of the image could not be confirmed at the time of publishing.

Fauci of South Africa

Karim ‘disrespected’

The image shows Karim as part of a panel, with the CNN banner headline reading: “‘Fauci of South Africa’ says he’s worried about the new variant.”

Of course, South Africans were quick to react, with many saying the news outlet was disrespecting Karim by relegating him to simply “Fauci of South Africa”. Dr Anthony Fauci is the the chief medical advisor to the US president

Another Twitter user said he would have “expected this from Fox News”, while another added: “The level of disrespect by the international communities to Africans is appalling.”

Bryce-Pease also tweeted: “Just to be clear: this was by way of introduction, they did use his name throughout their discussion.”

Prof Karim’s CNN interview

While the authenticity of the image shared on Twitter could not be confirmed at the time of publishing, CNN did interview Karim on Covid-19.

Karim discussed the Omicron variant with CNN’s Becky Anderson and said scientists had been expecting new variants, but some questions remain unanswered at this stage.

He said scientists could make extrapolations based on mutations.

Omicron variant mutations

And while the Omicron variant has mutations common with the four previous variants, it also has “many more mutations, new mutations that we know very little about”.

This follows after Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla last Thursday announced the discovery of the Omicron variant – previously referred to as B.1.1.529.

It initially appeared to be a cluster outbreak, however, scientists from the Network of Genomic Surveillance confirmed they were observing a new variant.

NOW READ: Keep unvaccinated people out of events, says Prof Karim