CNN’s “We Love NYC: Homecoming Concert” in Central Park was panned by critics as a “super spreader” event before getting washed out by severe weather ahead of Hurricane Henri on Saturday,
The concert was announced last month by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio when COVID-19 cases appeared to be under control in New York. The event was intended to celebrate the reopening of the Big Apple after having been largely shuttered during the pandemic. Attendees were required to show proof of vaccination.
As the concert got underway, however, some viewers denounced it as a “super spreader” event, observing the largely maskless crowd.
Others condemned the network for continuing with the concert amid the ongoing chaos in Afghanistan. Thousands of Americans and Afghans are trying to flee the country following a Taliban takeover in the wake of the withdrawal of American troops.
A few hours into the concert, it was abruptly put on hold due to the weather. Organizers scrambled to table the concert as heavy rain came down in the middle of a performance by Barry Manilow.
Some quipped it was a sign from God that it was too soon to be holding the event.
The delays forced CNN anchor Anderson Cooper to kill time by conducting phone interviews with some of the artists, including Manilow and famed guitarist Carlos Santana.
Some observers noted how the media was quick to condemn South Dakota’s recent Sturgis Motorcycle Rally as a super spreader event, yet didn’t seem so keen to pick on the Central Park concert.
White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci was among the experts who warned against the Sturgis rally, suggesting that attendees place the public health crisis above their personal enjoyment. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, R., responded in kind, wondering why he only seemed to take issue with events in typically red states, while appearing to ignore other concerts like Chicago’s Lollapalooza or former President Barack Obama’s 60th birthday bash.
“I didn’t hear him criticize President Obama for having a party for his birthday,” she said on “Fox & Friends.” “I didn’t hear him go after the other concerts that have been happening in this country or the complete ignoring of our federal laws by this open border policy that President Biden has embraced.”