Comedian Kathy Griffin took on Donald Trump via social media again this week, when a trip to the hospital over a coronavirus scare led her to call him out for lying about US response to the pandemic.
It started when the 59-year-old Griffin checked into Cedars-Sinai hospital in LA on Wednesday complaining of “unbearably painful” symptoms, and was placed into a coronavirus isolation ward. There, she was told she couldn’t be tested for the virus due to CDC criteria.
This led the LGBTQ-favorite comedian to post an angry reply to a Trump tweet in which the president had boasted that American testing for COVID-19 had surpassed that of South Korea.
In her tweet, Griffin posted two photos of herself, wearing a protective mask and apparently in a hospital bed behind a glass door, along with the comment:
“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.”
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 https://t.co/18fRiOBsdN pic.twitter.com/0sU9fHu4r0— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) March 25, 2020
Griffin was later discharged and sent home to recover after being diagnosed with an abdominal infection.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, Griffin’s husband, Randy Bick, gave more detail about the comedian’s health scare, saying that she had begun experiencing stomach discomfort over the weekend, which at first subsided but then worsened, bringing intense pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Griffin told the paper, “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. 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?”
At the hospital, the comedian’s temperature was normal, X-rays showed clear lungs, and an abdominal CT scan revealed the stomach infection. Still, since some of her symptoms matched those of the coronavirus, the comedian claims that her doctor wanted to administer the test, but told her he couldn’t because she didn’t meet the CDC requirements.
“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 then doubled down on her criticism of Trump, saying, “A lot of people, when they hear the president saying everyone who needs a test should get one, then shouldn’t have to then go to a hospital where, frankly, they may be exposing themselves or exposing others.”