Maitlis dispelled the idea that the pandemic is a “great leveler” in which “everyone, rich or poor, suffers the same” in the cold open of the topical “Newsnight” program on Wednesday.
“Those on the front line right now, bus drivers and shelf-stackers, nurses, care home-workers, hospital staff and shopkeepers, are disproportionately the lower-paid members of our workforce,” Maitlis noted. “They are more likely to catch the disease because they are more exposed.”
“Those who live in tower blocks and small flats will find the lockdown tougher. Those in manual jobs will be unable to work from home,” Maitlis continued. “This is a health issue with huge ramifications for social welfare, and it’s a welfare issue with huge ramifications for public health.”
Check out the segment here:
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), for instance, last month said coronavirus was “the great equalizer” because anyone can contract it, following the positive diagnosis of his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo.
Data now starting to emerge, however, shows how poor and minority communities are actually more at risk of contracting the infection.
Maitlis has previously earned praise for grilling former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and her interview of Prince Andrew over his controversial friendship with the late Jeffrey Epstein.
Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, tweeted that Maitlis’ comments were “the best cold open I have seen to a news show.”
British radio host James O’Brien hailed Maitlis for her “magnificent monologue.”
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