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.
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
Robb Cowie, communications director for OHA, said the agency regretted how that part of the video was handled, Oregon Live reported.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
“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:
How did no one question that a clown might not be the best character to use when conveying important, serious information.
— Hamitron (@Hamitron) October 27, 2020
"Trust the experts," they told us. https://t.co/rg8N6VFM4m
— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) October 29, 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
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
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