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ER Doctor: My Honesty About COVID Got Me Fired

Cleavon Gilman tweeted about what he saw in Arizona
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2020 5:10 PM CST

(Newser) – An Arizona ER doctor says he got fired after tweeting his frustration over hospital conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Guardian reports. "Just got to work and was notified there are no more ICU beds in the state of Arizona," Cleavon Gilman tweeted in November about the Yuma Regional Medical Center. "What happened to the 175 beds??? We likely don't have nursing to staff them. This is not good." The next day, Gilman says he got a call from his staffing agency telling him not to return to work. Then his tweet went viral, the story went national, and Gilman received a personal call of thanks for his service from President-elect Joe Biden. "I promise you, doc, you are going to have a full-blown partner," Biden told him. "You have my word as a Biden."

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Gilman didn't hold back, either: "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 told the Arizona Republic. "It is a grave injustice and it's not just happening to me." In response, the hospital tweeted Friday that "there has been a misunderstanding" and "we need good caregivers like Dr. Gilman here." Gilman's response: "Oh really... this is news to me." The Washington Post reports that his claim echoes that of other health workers who say they've been punished for ringing alarm bells about hospital conditions. After a Seattle emergency doctor was fired in March for criticizing ER precautions, one official likened it to "yelling fire in a crowded theater." (Read more pandemic stories.)

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