An emergency room doctor that was fired is getting a vacation from Oprah Winfrey as a thank you for their hard work.
Dr. Cleavon Gilman’s tweets have been getting attention for his frank discussions on how Arizona handled the COVID-19 outbreak.
1 ICU bed in Pima County, Arizona. I’m just shaking my head and throwing my hands in the air. Either shut the state down or the virus will, because you can’t play politics with a virus. ⏳ https://t.co/DyxLo83z1P pic.twitter.com/GtI0rmXswm— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) December 10, 2020
What a disaster! For the sake of Arizona lives, I wish @dougducey would listen to the medical community and implement a shelter-in-place.. anything less is futile. Our Yuma hospital now has 148 COVID19 patients with 29 in the ICU. Everyday will be worse than the last. pic.twitter.com/eXtpxtPoAp— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) December 9, 2020
The organization that contracts him — Yuma Regional Medical Center — saw the critical tweets and fired Dr. Gilman.
I've always been HONEST about what I'm experiencing as an ER doctor on the frontlines of the pandemic, but @YumaRegional wants to SUPPRESS the TRUTH. Healthcare providers must be able to communicate with the public during a deadly pandemic. @jamielandersxhttps://t.co/SsudtWZnFv— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) December 11, 2020
On Dec. 10, Dr. Gilman tweeted about the experience and shared an interview he did with azcentral.
“They told me it was because of the tweets and I couldn’t believe it because that was accurate information I posted to inform the citizens of Arizona,” he said in the interview. “It is a grave injustice and it’s not just happening to me. Doctors everywhere are afraid to speak up.”
One Twitter user pointed out a similar situation in Bellingham, Washington.
This doctor in Bellingham. WA as well. https://t.co/nM3omrKSAk— Lifeswar (@0Samantha0o) December 11, 2020
A day after Dr. Gilman’s tweet went viral, his former employer issued a statement, they called everything a “misunderstanding.”
A message from Yuma Regional Medical Center. pic.twitter.com/fHsVx2bguo— YumaRegional (@YumaRegional) December 11, 2020
“It’s clear there has been a misunderstanding. While he is not speaking on behalf of YRMC, we respect Dr. Gilman’s right to share his personal perspective on the pandemic.”
But it was too late and not good enough for many.
so a hospital fired a doc on his third covid tour of duty because he tweeted public health information about the pandemic? what a joke you are @yumaregional - a joke with a bad punchline https://t.co/oPq9Mpl8sM— a WORLD WITHOUT POLICE UNIONS under my tree plz (@highbloodsugar) December 12, 2020
You should pay him double for the shifts you forced him to miss while you figured out what a PR nightmare you had created for yourselves.— Jeremy Faust MD MS (ER physician) (@jeremyfaust) December 11, 2020
Someone pointed out the massive oopsie on Yuma’s behalf.
"Oops...we fired the doctor that Pres Elect Biden called on the phone to thank for his service?!"— Tatiana Prowell, MD (@tmprowell) December 11, 2020
One day after Yuma’s statement, Dr. Gilman was interviewed by MSNBC.
I came to Yuma, Arizona to provide excellent healthcare and advocate for underserved populations. The love and support I've received from the community reaffirms this is where my family and I need to be. I'll be back with my team in the trenches on Monday!pic.twitter.com/p5RawdDj1u— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) December 13, 2020
The story picked up steam and got Oprah’s attention.
We should be taking care of those taking care of us. Thank you @Cleavon_MD for the work you’ve done and will continue to do. You’ll need a vacation once this pandemic is over—and I’ll gladly send you and your immediate family anywhere you want to go. I’ll be in touch 🙏🏽👨🏽⚕️ https://t.co/4pFkZR9rnt— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) December 12, 2020
The media icon quote tweeted Dr. Gilman and used that good ol’ Midwest passive-aggressive charm to put Yuma Regional Medical Center on blast. She also offered to send Dr. Gilman and his immediate family anywhere in the world.
Replying to Oprah, Dr. Gilman expressed his gratitude and promised to continue his advocacy.
My family and I are grateful for the support throughout this difficult time in our lives. I will continue to raise awareness about this deadly pandemic that is killing 3,000 Americans per day. Thank you soooo much for supporting my advocacy!!! ❤️— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) December 12, 2020
He’s already putting his promise into action. In a tweet, Dr. Gilman said he will begin pushing legislation to protect healthcare workers in January.
In January, we will begin pushing legislation to protect doctors & healthcare workers from retaliation and ensure they have due process, so that hospitals cannot unilaterally say a doctor cannot return back to work.— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) December 13, 2020
Lead image: screenshot via YouTube.