Kathy Griffin Blasts Trump for "Lying" About Abundance of Coronavirus Tests

Kathy Griffin at the Equality California 2018 Los Angeles Equality Awards-Getty-H-2018
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Equality California

Kathy Griffin at the Equality California 2018 Los Angeles Equality Awards.

The comedian, currently in a hospital receiving treatment for "unbearably painful symptoms," responded to the president's tweet earlier on Wednesday where he boasted that America is performing more tests than any other nation.

While in a hospital isolation ward room receiving treatment for "unbearably painful symptoms," comedian Kathy Griffin on Wednesday responded to President Donald Trump's tweet in which he alleged that the U.S. has performed "more [coronavirus] testing than any other nation." After calling him out for lying, she shared a personal note about being unable to obtain a test for the coronavirus due to certain restrictions in place.

Trump's initial tweet read, "Just reported that the United States has done far more "testing" than any other nation, by far! In fact, 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. Great job."

Replied Griffin in a tweet, "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 taskforce) restrictions." She included a photo of herself lying in a hospital bed with a mask over her nose and mouth. 

The online interaction between the comedian and the president has not continued beyond this point, though both tweets are receiving engagement.

Griffin's message was retweeted over 8,000 times and received tens of thousands of comments in support. The comedian, whose mother Maggie — a familiar face in many of the comedian's reality shows — died earlier this month, has been vocal about the coronavirus pandemic on social media, often retweeting news articles and tweets from news anchors such as Rachel Maddow. 

Currently pinned on her Twitter account is a suggestion to follow the news anchor Steve Lookner for international breaking news updates. 

In his tweet, Trump was citing a report shared by White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx on Tuesday. Birx said during a Fox News town hall with the president that "in the last eight days we've done more testing than South Korea. But we did that because we transformed the testing process." She said the United States, which has done over 300,000 tests amid the outbreak, is now doing 50,000 to 70,000 tests per day.

As the country has worked to increase its testing capability, criticism has grown about more privileged Americans, such as athletes and celebrities, being able to procure a test while many Americans could not.

Since the outbreak, several celebrities have spoken out to reveal positive diagnoses. Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson were the first celebrity couple to speak out and have since been in isolation in Australia. Idris Elba, Andy Cohen, Daniel Dae Kim, Aaron Tveit, Debi Mazar, Bachelor star Colton UnderwoodGame of Thrones star Kristofer Hivju and Quantum of Solace star Olga Kurylenko have all since spoken out to share their symptoms and to further promote the country-wide messaging that all Americans — whether young or old — should do their part and stay home amid the pandemic.

According to the CDC, the total number of public health laboratories that are verified and currently using COVID-19 diagnostic tests is 92. That number, as of Wednesday, includes one or more labs in 50 states plus DC, Guam and Puerto Rico.

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to a rep for Griffin for an update on her status.

Jackie Strause contributed to this report.