jonathan neman

In a new LinkedIn post, Sweetgreen co-founder and CEO Jonathan Neman walked back his earlier comments on the coronavirus a week after he proclaimed that "no vaccine nor mask will save us" from the pandemic.

"My intention was not to be discriminatory or to discount the importance of getting vaccinated and wearing masks to combat COVID-19," he said in the new post. "Wearing masks and getting vaccinated works to protect against COVID-19. Full stop."

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In a LinkedIn post, Sweetgreen co-founder and CEO Jonathan Neman wrote this week that "no vaccine nor mask will save us" from the coronavirus, while seemingly suggesting healthier eating as a suitable alternative to widely-recommended preventative measures.

Neman's comments quickly drew backlash on social media, with responses ranging from sarcasm to an invitation for the CEO to eat one Twitter user's size 12 shorts. The controversy comes as the Culver City-based company prepares for an IPO.

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After protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd prompted Sweetgreen to close most of the locations it hadn't yet shuttered because of the coronavirus, the Culver City-based fast casual chain said Tuesday that it's on the rebound.

CEO Jonathan Neman announced the company has reopened most of its restaurants and rehired some of the 2,000 workers that it furloughed.

"We've brought back half of employees," Neman said at an Axios forum. "I'm confident we can bring back the other half soon."

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