Comedian Kathy Griffin has revealed that she wasn’t able to get tested for coronavirus despite “unbearably painful” symptoms that landed her in the isolation ward of a hospital. The 59-year-old had been self-quarantined with her husband Randy Bick after returning home from Mexico in mid-March. But when symptoms like “vomiting [and] diarrhea, every 20 minutes” appeared on March 21, she consulted her doctor over the phone, and went to an urgent care. “The vomiting felt like a convulsion,” she told the LA Times. “We were both nervous because we were still in the incubation period after returning from Mexico, but also we had not left the house in days,” Kathy said. “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?’”
After consulting with her doc, both Kathy and Randy put on “N-95 masks and gloves” and sought out medical attention. “We got to the front and immediately there was a security officer and some nurses’ assistants outside.” Once inside, Kathy was hooked up to an IV and got a shot for her abdominal pain, however she was still vomiting, so they sent her to the Cedars-Sinai emergency room. “I remember vividly the doctor telling me … ‘I’m going to send you to Cedars ER today because I don’t think I could get you in 13 days from now,’” Kathy said, adding that she was surprised by the lack of personal protective equipment she saw on the health-care staff around her.
“Frankly, when they said the corona ward, I thought I would be walking into the white suits with blue-taped ceilings, everything,” she said. “I kind of expected them to put me in a shower room and all that — but as recently as [March 24], there’s no cavalry that’s coming in handing out millions of [test] swabs.” Kathy had a chest X-ray that showed clear lungs and an abdominal CT scan that revealed she had an abdominal infection. Although her temperature was normal, she had nausea and diarrhea, along with the severe chills and sore throat which are all considered symptoms of COVID-19. “The doctor was going through the boxes and going through the boxes [on a form] and she kept saying, like, ‘Ugh, because of the lungs, the fever and the kind of cough … you don’t meet the CDC requirements,’” she said.
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
After opting to head home and self-isolate, rather than be admitted to the hospital, the comic called out Donald Trump on Twitter after he claimed the U.S. was the leader in testing for the coronavirus. “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,” she wrote on Twitter on March 25. Kathy also said that she hoped tests would become available at pharmacies, or via at-home delivery services. “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.”