Kirstie Alley told not to ‘downplay’ loss of life after slamming CNN’s COVID-19 coverage

Kirstie Alley enters the Celebrity Big Brother house at Elstree Studios on August 16, 2018 in Borehamwood, England.

Kirstie Alley took to Twitter Friday morning to share a strong, negative opinion on CNN’s coverage of COVID-19, which has infected more than 9 million people nationwide and killed nearly 230,000 according to Johns Hopkins data. CNN clapped back in a reply tweet. 

“I now Know why my personal friends who walk around in SHEER TERROR of contracting Covid are simply CNN viewers!” Alley wrote. “I decided to watch CNN myself to get a their viewpoint and oh my God DID I EVER!!!! IF YOU TOO WANT TO LIVE IN TERROR WATCH CNN!!” 

She continued in all caps: “FEAR OF DYING IS THEIR MANTRA! OMG!”

CNN’s communications team responded to the actress shortly after she tweeted on Friday adding their own comment on Alley’s work in “Veronica’s Closet,” the three-season sitcom in which Alley starred.

“Kirstie, you are welcome to change the channel – just like countless viewers did every time ‘Veronica’s Closet’ came on TV,” CNN wrote. “But don’t downplay the loss of nearly 230K American lives.”

They also reminded Alley to wear a mask. 

Her tweet was met with a flurry of replies from Twitter users, who had their own opinions on Alley’s take. 

Walter Shaub, former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, was among the responders.

“You should be ashamed,” he wrote. “We’re one of the hardest hit countries because irresponsible science-denying fools like you don’t care about hundreds of thousands of Americans who’ve died or millions who are sick.”

Shaub followed up with a question for Alley. “Do you ever reflect on how many deaths you personally may have caused?”

And other users shared personal anecdotes — one man, a Twitter user identified by the handle @james_r_p_III, even posted an image of an intubated woman who he wrote was his wife, who thankfully had recovered from the virus after being hospitalized.

“It’s not fear, it’s our reality,” he wrote. “This is my wife in Dallas 8 months ago when Fox and Trump were downplaying the virus. She spent 5 days in a coma. Thankfully, she somehow survived but doesn’t want to do it again. So, thanks to dumb comments like this, she can’t leave the house.”

He also shared a photo of his wife, recovered, and of the device that he wrote saved her life when a ventilator couldn’t.

And user @kshering shared a personal story, too. “Downplay this…. My son was only 36,” they wrote, sharing an image of an obituary.

Others agreed with Alley.

Twitter user @misschellerene called CNN’s coverage “propaganda.”

“People have lost all ability to think for themselves,” @misschellerene wrote.

Alley’s tweet received a massive amount of attention garnering more than 23,000 retweets and upwards of 74,000 favorites by Saturday morning. CNN’s tweet received even more attention with more than 24,000 retweets and around 105,000 favorites by Saturday morning.

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