Kathy Griffin Tried To Cut in Line for COVID Test, Turns Out She Had Diarrhea After Mexico Trip


I have to admit that I wasn’t paying much attention to much social media on Wednesday until I saw Kathy Griffin trending.

“Oh no,” I thought to myself, knowing full well what was to come when my index finger touched her name in the trending feed on Twitter, “we’ll never hear the end of this one.”

And yes, it appeared for a little while, we wouldn’t. It was a retweet of President Donald Trump’s statement that “over an eight day span, the United States now does more testing than what South Korea (which has been a very successful tester) does over an eight week span.”

“He’s lying,” Griffin said.

“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.

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“#TESTTESTTEST,” her hashtagged ceterum censeo read.

I have to admit that I put aside any skepticism in the face of COVID-19. That’s what you tend to do.

Do you think Kathy Griffin should have just stayed home?

I didn’t question, for instance, why an individual in extremis from “UNBEARABLY PAINFUL symptoms” of a coronavirus infection would be be tweeting very cogently about it from an “isolation ward room in a major hospital ER.”

All of that went out the window, and I even chastised myself silently for that whole “we’ll never hear the end of this one” thought. That had been kind of cruel, I thought, even if this did nicely dovetail with the values of someone who recently tweeted this:

As it turned out, I should have been more skeptical, since Griffin’s track record also dovetails rather nicely with this:

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As you’ll notice, that’s “coronavirus concerns,” not “coronavirus.” The abdominal infection she has wasn’t related to anything COVID-19.

In fact — and this sounds so horrible on multiple levels that I couldn’t make it up — she got the abdominal infection after traveling to Mexico, according to Griffin’s husband, Randy Bick.

According to him, she had self-isolated before seeking medical advice.

While a minority of coronavirus patients may experience the symptoms that Griffin did — “intense pain, vomiting, diarrhea, every 20 minutes,” as Bick told the Los Angeles Times — these aren’t the classical 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.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture