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Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Outrage over health official dressing up as clown to announce COVID-19 death toll

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.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | October 30, 2020 1:05:19 pm
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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.

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.

 

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