Leavenworth hospital fires two over social media posts that included COVID disinformation

Cascade Medical Center in Leavenworth.

LEAVENWORTH — Cascade Medical Center fired two employees this summer after they spread COVID-19 misinformation and other inappropriate content in TikTok videos, including some recorded on hospital grounds.

Cascade public relations director Clint Strand says the hospital became aware of the TikTok posts in mid-June, after the two employees “created and shared content in flagrant violation of our social media policy.” The posts have since been removed from the popular social media app, which allows users to create and share short-form videos and audio clips.

In a set of videos, TikTok user @thatdaneshguy detailed how he identified two Cascade Medical Center employees who were later fired for posting objectionable content, including medical falsehoods about COVID-19.

The primary user involved in the posts went by the username @bloodytnvc5 and spread disinformation about COVID-19, the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccines, and mask use, as well as racist and anti-Semitic content. The second employee appeared in at least one of the TikTok videos, apparently recorded on Cascade Medical Center premises.

Strand wouldn’t name the two former employees, citing personnel and privacy issues. But another TikTok user, @thatdaneshguy, reviewed the posts and identified them as a 33-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman, neither of whom were involved in direct medical care.

Strand says once Cascade confirmed the employees were involved in the TikTok activity, they were fired the same day.

“They recorded content inside our facility without permission, used their purported position working in a health care facility to spread medical disinformation, and made comments in that content containing slurs, profane language, and bigotry towards protected groups,” Strand told NCWLIFE in an email. “Any one of these multiple violations are subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate dismissal.”

Strand says no protected patient information was disclosed in the videos. The @bloodytnvc5 account appears to have been deleted from the TikTok network.

“As an organization, it is absolutely disappointing and infuriating when we hear of employees that are not living up to our Shared Values as an organization in such a flagrant manner,” he wrote. “… Cascade Medical did not hesitate to take appropriate action as soon as we confirmed authorship, including our demand the posts be removed.”