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Kathy Griffin Confronts President Trump on Twitter about Availability of COVID-19 Tests at ER

Gettyimages | Vivien Killilea
By Maria Raczka

Yesterday, comedian Kathy Griffen was sent to the ER from an Urgent Care center for exhibiting Coronavirus sympotoms and "unbearable chest pains." Ms. Griffen was admitted into the ER's COVID-19 isolation ward. Shortly after being admitted Ms. Griffen tweeted, expressing her frustration at the current administration. Responses to her tweets varied from critical to supportive. Regardless of whether or not one is a fan, one thing is clear: we need a more effective way of dealing with this pandemic. As the support for the Coronavirus victims grows, so does the anger and frustration at the way our government handled this pandemic.

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In a response to a Donald Trump tweet from just a few hours earlier, Kathy Griffen tweeted from the isolation ward: "He’s lying. I was sent to the #COVID19 isolation ward room in a major hospital ER from a separate urgent care facility after showing UNBEARABLY PAINFUL symptoms. The hospital couldn’t test me for #coronavirus because of CDC (Pence task force) restrictions. #TESTTESTTEST ." Just hours earlier President Trump tweeted: "Just reported that the United States has done far more “testing” than any other nation, by far! In fact, over an eight day span, the United States now does more testing than what South Korea (which has been a very successful tester) does over an eight week span. Great job!"

Unsplash | Charles Deluvio

Kathy Griffen isn't the only one to accuse President Trump of lying. KUOW, a NPR station in Seattle, made the decision to discontinue daily White House briefings due to "a pattern of false or misleading information provided that cannot be fact checked in real time." NPR is not the only organization faced with this dilemma. Given that President Trump's statements on live broadcasts cannot be fact-checked in real-time many news organizations are facing an ethical dilemma of wheter or not to air his briefings. On numerous ocassions fact-checking revealed that the president made false claims.

Unsplash | Tai's Captures

Misrepresentation under any circumstances can be frustrating, much less during a pandemic. However, for many people lies aren't the only source of frustration. In retrospect the slow dismantling of our defenses angers many. In 2018, President Trump dissolved the National Security Council (NSC), an organization focused on pandemic response. This move successfully removed informed health experts from their circle of influence. Inspite of the November, 2019 warnings from the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security against pandemics nothing was done.

As the threats mount so does the anger and frustration at our government. By now most of us have been affected by the pandemic, in some way or another. The Obama Administration announced a public health emergency just a week-and-a-half after the first US H1N1 case. The Trump Administration took a month-and-a-half to do the same in the case of Coronavirus. While hindsight is 20/20, we may profit from moving on from our anger and redirecting it towards action. By honestly acknowledging our current situation (and the path that got us to this point) we can avoid making similar mistakes in the future and hopefully course-correct.

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