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'Why are we so scared about getting this virus?': Social media users call for boycotts following Gerry Harvey's 'irresponsible' coronavirus interview

Sharon Masige
  • Gerry Harvey, billionaire co-founder of Harvey Norman, expressed how we shouldn't be afraid of the coronavirus, despite numerous deaths across the globe.
  • Harvey also described the outbreak as an "opportunity" for Harvey Norman, with sales going up 9% from last year.
  • Social media users have called for boycotts to Harvey Norman following the founder's comments.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Gerry Harvey has caused something of a stir on social media.

The billionaire cofounder of retailer Harvey Norman was interviewed on a "60 Minutes" episode which aired on Sunday, where he explained his rather unfazed response to the coronavirus.

"Why are we so scared about getting this virus?" he told reporter Liam Bartlett. "It's pretty much nothing to get scared of."

When Bartlett mentioned the thousands of families particularly in Italy and China who are affected by it, Harvey replied, "But that's there, we're here. I'm 80, I should be really scared. Guess what, I'm not really scared."

Harvey added that sales have increased at Harvey Norman and described the whole situation as "an opportunity".

"Now sales are up in Harvey Norman in Australia by 9% on last year," he said. "Our sales in freezers are up 300%. And what about air purifiers? Up 100%."

But social media users weren't here for Harvey's comments about the coronavirus, describing them as "ludicrous" and "irresponsible".

Others were also calling for boycotts to Harvey Norman.