Oregon health official dresses as clown while announcing coronavirus deaths

"Who at the Oregon Health Authority thought this was a good idea?" - journalist Samantha Swindler

Updated: October 29, 2020 - 7:54pm

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A video of a senior Oregon health official dressed up as a clown during an announcement that included the latest coronavirus death toll in the state has, predictably, gone viral.

Claire Poche, a senior health adviser for the Oregon Health Authority, wore white and red makeup – as well as a red tie with a polka dot shirt – in the video announcement, Fox News reported.

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

"It was only when she cut to fellow senior adviser Shimi Sharief – dressed in a cuddly animal onesie that she said was inspired by the Japanese cartoon 'My Neighbor Totoro' – that it became clear that the costumes were part of a discussion on celebrating Halloween safely during the pandemic," Fox reported.

Sharief said the pandemic was “reshaping” how Halloween is celebrated but that it could “still be spooky and fun.”

The live video was recorded on Oct. 14, but started going viral Tuesday after being shared by Samantha Swindler, a journalist at The Oregonian who called it “an absolute nightmare.”

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

The post has gained significant attraction, receiving more than 8,400 likes and 3,600 retweets.

“I get they were going for a ‘fun’ Halloween Covid update and they have a very hard job but this … this does not work,” Swindler added. “One of the great things about this video (and there are many great things) is they never acknowledge or address the costumes. The clown is just THERE and she dives right into the numbers. AMAZING STUFF.”

Twitterers had a field day.

“Oregon. Literally run by clowns,” wrote Douglas Murray, associate editor at "The Spectator."

“Federal Covid response: metaphorical clown show. Oregon Covid response: literal clown show,” one user said.


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