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How an Oregon official showing up in a clown costume for COVID-19 announcements sparked controversy online

For many on social media, the official's appearance in a clown costume was a stretch even if it was for Halloween.

October 30, 2020 / 04:42 PM IST

A senior Oregon (USA) health official is currently going viral on social media for showing up in clown-makeup during the state’s latest COVID-19 announcement.

Doctor Claire Poche, a senior health adviser for the Oregon Health Authority, can be seen in white and red clown makeup as well as a red tie, polka dot shirt, and yellow pants in the clip.

“As of today, there have been 38,160 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon, with 390 new cases being reported today. Sadly, we are also reporting three deaths today, bringing the statewide total for COVID-19-related deaths to 608,” she said.

Robb Cowie, communications director for OHA, said the agency regretted how that part of the video was handled, Oregon Live reported. 

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“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 costume was actually part of a discussion on celebrating Halloween safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her fellow senior adviser Shimi Sharief also appeared in the announcement dressed in an animal onesie.

The clip, which aired on October 14, trended high on Twitter after Oregonian journalist Samantha Swindler called the production choice an “absolute nightmare”.

“I'm sorry but who at the Oregon Health Authority thought this was a good idea?”, she tweeted.

For many on social media, the official's appearance in a clown costume was a stretch even if it was for Halloween.

Look at a few reactions here:

Moneycontrol News
first published: Oct 30, 2020 04:23 pm