LOS ANGELES -- Kathy Griffin might have been exposed to the coronavirus. Or she might not have. After a recent trip to urgent care and the emergency room while gravely ill, the comic wasn't able to get tested.
Griffin has an abdominal infection that is being treated with medication, though she won't know whether she's turned the corner for a couple of days, she told The Times in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. She's back home, and she's not going out anytime soon.
The public likely wouldn't have known about her illness at all had President Trump not tweeted a claim Wednesday that the U.S. had outpaced South Korea in COVID-19 testing. Griffin, who had just come home from an emergency room the day before, just had to comment, because what the president was saying didn't match with what she had experienced.
"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," Griffin wrote on Twitter after she accused Trump of lying. She said she couldn't get tested because of "CDC (Pence task force) restrictions."
With that response, the 59-year-old posted a couple of alarming photos showing her in a mask, in a hospital bed, in what appeared to be a sealed hospital room. Soon her name was trending on social media.
What happened? On Saturday, Griffin started having what her husband, Randy Bick, described as "mild stomach issues." But then they receded, he said. Temporarily.
"Two days later," Bick said also by phone, "she woke up very early in the morning and had incredibly intense pain, vomiting, diarrhea, every 20 minutes. Just really sick."
"The vomiting felt like a convulsion," Griffin said.
And about a week prior, the couple had traveled internationally.
"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," Griffin said. "We'd been hearing about a 14-day incubation period 1/8for the coronavirus3/8. So for me to get what felt like food poisoning after six days, I thought, OK, is this a coincidence or what?"