Days after comedian Kathy Griffin announced she had been admitted to a COVID-19 isolation ward room — while taking the time to slam President Trump’s coronavirus response — it can be revealed that the mouthy D-lister does not have coronavirus.
In fact, Griffin has an abdominal infection after traveling to Mexico on vacation last week, according to Griffin’s husband, Randy Bick.
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According to Back, she had self-isolated before seeking medical advice.
While a minority of coronavirus patients experience the symptoms that Griffin had — “intense pain, vomiting, diarrhea, every 20 minutes,” as Bick told the Los Angeles Times — these aren’t typical symptoms of the virus.
“We were both nervous because we were still in the incubation period after returning from [a trip to] Mexico, but also we had not left the house in days,” Griffin told the Times.
“We’d been hearing about a 14-day incubation period [for the coronavirus]. So for me to get what felt like food poisoning after six days, I thought, OK, is this a coincidence or what?”
Coincidence. Not what.
According to Griffin, despite the fact that her lungs were clear and a CT scan showed an infection in her intestines, an urgent care doctor thought she ought to get tested. This went against the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations, which we’ll get to in a second.
When she went to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles (all right, so it was a “major hospital ER”), however, she was told she couldn’t get one.
“The realization when they told me the guidelines was, ‘Wow … I now know not to come back unless my lungs are full with what feels like pieces of shattered mirror, unless I can’t breathe and unless my fever is 103,’” Griffin said.
“They’re not making the rules at all. That’s a frightening feeling.
“I just think it’s so obvious that those tests have to be accessible to everybody,” she added. “A lot of people, when they hear the president saying everyone who needs a test should get one, they shouldn’t have to then go to a hospital where, frankly, they may be exposing themselves or exposing others.”
Look, we’re happy that Griffin doesn’t have COVID-19. However, here are the recommendations from the CDC as to who has priority to get tested: “Hospitalized patients; Symptomatic healthcare workers; Patients in long-term care facilities with symptoms; Patients 65 years of age and older with symptoms; Patients with underlying conditions with symptoms; First responders with symptoms; Critical infrastructure workers with symptoms.”
Not celebrities. Not even self-admitted D-list celebrities.
Not people with symptoms that don’t entirely match up with coronavirus. Not people whose symptoms match up with someone who recently traveled in a country where food poisoning isn’t an unknown issue.
None of these things make her a priority.
Griffin is 59. Her symptoms, her chest X-ray and the abdominal CT scan all lined up with someone who didn’t have COVID-19.
She’s assumedly in good health. She’s not a first responder and tweeting doesn’t count as working in critical infrastructure.
Furthermore, none of this has mutual exclusivity with Trump’s tweet. The fact that we’ve done more tests doesn’t necessarily mean that we have all the tests we need. To test someone without classical COVID-19 symptoms in one of the hotbeds of the disease when she’s not necessarily a first responder isn’t necessarily a responsible use of resources.
Neither is asking for a test when you don’t meet the criteria and blaming Mike Pence when you don’t get it. It’s not his fault. Neither does it mean Donald Trump is lying.
Now, instead of “Kathy Griffin” trending, “Kathy Griffin lied” is.
Here is the problem with Griffin’s original tweet: She knew it was probable she didn’t have the disease but blamed the fact that she didn’t have a test for what’s billed as the most mordant pandemic in a century on a president and vice president she’s always disagreed with, despite having recently returned just days earlier from a land infamous for provoking food poisoning.
We all should have known this sounded a bit too perfect for Kathy Griffin to be true.
We hope that she’s on the mend and look forward to the tweetstorm that’s no doubt to come in which she blames the president’s trade war with Mexico for her gastrointestinal unpleasantness.