A video of a senior health official in the US state of Oregon wearing a clown costume for a coronavirus briefing is widely being shared on social media, with people confused and angered by the choice of costume.
Claire Poche, a senior official of the Oregon Health Authority, made an appearance for the daily briefing dressed as clown wearing a red tie, black polka dot shirt, bright yellow pants to complete her look.
“As of today, there have been 38,160 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon, with 390 new cases being reported today,” she said.
“Sadly, we are also reporting three deaths today, bringing the statewide total for COVID-19-related deaths to 608,” she said.
Oregon’s public health authority had their MD dress up like a clown and announce COVID deaths. pic.twitter.com/6MJaqQniG6
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) October 28, 2020
The clip is from a briefing that aired on October 14 but was widely commented on after journalist Samantha Swindler called the production choice an “absolute nightmare” on Wednesday. As more criticism grew, the health agency issued a statement on the issue.
Robb Cowie, communications director for OHA, said the agency regretted how that part of the video was handled, Oregon Live reported.
“We regret that, earlier this month, three tragic COVID-19 deaths were announced during a Facebook Live event focused on preventing the spread of COVID-19 during Halloween celebrations,” Cowie said in a statement.
The costumed official was actually also part of a discussion on celebrating Halloween safely during the pandemic. Her fellow senior adviser Dr Shimi Sharief too had also dressed in a cosy animal onesie inspired by the Japanese cartoon ‘My Neighbor Totoro’.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping how Oregonians celebrate holidays, and that includes Halloween but it doesn’t mean Halloween can’t still be spooky and fun this year,” Dr Sharief says in a video.
Many on social media felt that the clown costume was a bit much, even if it was for Halloween.
“Trust the experts,” they told us. https://t.co/rg8N6VFM4m
— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) October 29, 2020
A senior official with the Oregon Health Authority announced the daily covid death toll in the state while wearing clown makeup. Oregon literally has lunatics in clown costumes running their pandemic response. This does not surprise me at all.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) October 28, 2020
This is not a photoshop. Oregon’s public health authority announced COVID deaths in clown makeup. pic.twitter.com/Ta4StZHvrW
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) October 28, 2020
One of the great things about this video (and there are many great things) is they never acknowledge or address the costumes. The clown is just THERE and she dives right into the numbers. AMAZING STUFF.
— Samantha Swindler (@editorswindler) October 27, 2020
— Matt (@MJIVe06) October 28, 2020
WTH? At least they’re embracing what we’ve know for a while and that’s that they’re a bunch of clowns. https://t.co/GCAuHzNsqj
— Mister Toxic @Parler: MisterToxic (@MisterToxicMan) October 29, 2020
speechless here….but i have to admit, i did laugh hysterically at the utter absurdity of it all…. https://t.co/wkxjvsMUeZ
— l.t.dougherty (@ltdoughertyart) October 29, 2020
They need to look at their own mental health before the public.
— Carl Vernon (@RealCarlVernon) October 29, 2020
I cannot adequately describe the deep unease I’m feeling at the moment with regards to the downfall of ‘normality’. This is not ok. This is not right. This is deeply unsettling, this postmodernist distortion of reality is surely a sign of a civilisation with severe mental illness
— Lewis Harvey (@lewismharvey) October 28, 2020
Reminds me of the Mr Show skit where they had adorable kids to break bad news so it wouldn’t be so bad. pic.twitter.com/uezOttclQ4
— Emett (@Emett_The_Great) October 29, 2020
Reality is going to put the Babylon Bee out of business lol
— BehaviorModification (@TheNeurovingian) October 28, 2020
I feel like this woman showed up to work for the holiday party and was asked last minute to cover for someone on air. That actually sounds like something that happened to me at work once, just not on the air.
Probably not the real story, but I have to hope this was unplanned 🤦♀️
— Maggie (@The_M_D_G) October 28, 2020
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines