The CEO Of Sweetgreen Is Getting Backlash For His COVID Comments

by Stephanie Maida · September 1, 2021

    OK, weirdly enough I am eating Sweetgreen for the first time in six months as I type this, but listen, you can't trust anyone who bases their entire identity around $18 salads. 

    Case in point? Jonathan Neman, the co-founder and CEO of Sweetgreen himself, just shared some majorly shady thoughts on the whole deadly pandemic thing. Spoiler alert, he thinks overpriced salads can protect people better than masks and vaccine mandates can. 

    In a now-deleted LinkedIn post, Neman went on a rant about obesity, which, despite it being a risk factor for more serious illness, is hardly the "ROOT CAUSE" of COVID-19 as he appeared to claim. 

    “78% of hospitalizations due to COVID are Obese and Overweight people,” he wrote. “Is there an underlying problem that perhaps we have not given enough attention to? Is there another way to think about how we tackle ‘healthcare’ by addressing the root cause?”

    "COVID is here to stay for the foreseeable future. We cannot run away from it and no vaccine nor mask will save us," he continued. "What if we focused on the ROOT CAUSE and used this pandemic as a catalyst for creating a healthier future?? We clearly have no problem with government overreach on how we live our lives all in the name of 'health,' however we are creating more problems than we are solving."

    Neman then goes on to suggest making "unhealthy" food illegal and taxing "processed food and refined sugar to pay for the impact of the pandemic."

    Which like, yeah, it would be great if Americans could prioritize healthier eating, but dude clearly hasn't heard of things like food deserts, nor is he making the argument that fresh, "healthy" food should be made more affordable and more accessible. It's not like everyone in the country can afford to spend their money on one of his company's salads. He also, possibly, believes that obesity is the thing here that's alarmingly contagious. 

    Needless to say, the online backlash was swift. “Yikes. This is incredibly fat-phobic,” wrote one commenter on the post. "'The government should coerce people to buy salad' is a hell of a convenient belief for a Salad Millionaire," Atlantic writer Amanda Mull said on Twitter.

    As bad as Neman's take was, we did, at least, get a few laughs out of it: