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A senior Oregon health official donned a clown costume prior to announcing the daily death toll from coronavirus.
Claire Poche, a senior official of the Oregon Health Authority, made the announcement dressed in a red tie, polka dot shirt, bright yellow pants, and a full face of clown makeup.
“As of today, there have been 38,160 cases of COVID-19 in Oregon, with 390 new cases being reported today,” announced the harlequin impersonator. “Sadly, we are also reporting three deaths today, bringing the statewide total for COVID-19-related deaths to 608,” she somberly continued in heavy contrast to her attire.
Without addressing her attire, she passed the floor to fellow health advisor Shimi Sharief, who donned an anthropomorphic onesie. According to Sharief, the costume was inspired by the Japanese anime “My Neighbor Totoro.”
Sharief clarified the purpose of the costumes, stating that despite the pandemic "reshaping" Halloween, the popular holiday could “still be spooky and fun.” The announcement, however, is two weeks old, having been recorded on October 14th and only gaining widespread attention since Tuesday, making the choice of attire even more puzzling.
Social media users were quick to mock the incident, with some viewers claiming that the contrast between the silly costume and the seriousness of the subject matter made the press conference look like a skit from "The Office."