Oregon Health Official Delivers Coronavirus Update Dressed In Full Clown Make-Up
If this was an attempt to bring some seasonal levity to what is usually a fairly dry and often tragic announcement, maybe a different costume would have been better.
However, Doctor Claire Poche, who is the senior health advisor for the Oregon Health Authority painted up her face with white and red make-up, and wore a red tie with a polka dot shirt to give the serious facts about the state's ongoing battle against the spread of the virus.
She announced the recorded deaths and new cases wearing the costume, and - perhaps most bizarrely of all - didn't reference her get-up at all, and didn't even crack a smile throughout.
To be fair, if she'd been cracking a smile while announcing a number of deaths, this would have been even worse.
Actually, it's pretty bad to begin with. Who thought this would be fine?
She explained: "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 state-wide total for Covid-19-related deaths to 608."
One can only imagine what the families of those three people thought as a clown announced the deaths of their loved ones.
Or the 608 people who have already suffered the loss. It beggars belief.
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The costume, we're led to believe, was actually part of a discussion about celebrating Halloween safely this year.
Another state official, senior adviser Shimi Sharief, later appeared wearing an animal onesie inspired by the film My Neighbour Totoro.
This clip was actually first broadcast on 14 October, but went viral after it was shared by Oregonian journalist Samantha Swindler who - quite correctly - described the decision as an 'absolute nightmare'.
She wrote: "I'm sorry but who at the Oregon Health Authority thought this was a good idea?
"I get they were going for a 'fun' Halloween Covid update and they have a very hard job but this... this does not work.
"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."
Obviously, the comparisons on Twitter have written themselves.
One person commented: "Oregon. Literally run by clowns."
Another said: "Federal Covid response: metaphorical clown show. Oregon Covid response: literal clown show."
Maybe Professor Chris Whitty will be spotted soon taking to the podium dressed as Super Mario, with Sir Patrick Vallance as Dracula.
In this wretched year, can we even say that we'd be surprised?
Featured Image Credit: Oregon Public Health Authority
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