NY health care executive fired over posts on coronavirus and Trump supporters

A New York health system executive has been fired after a Facebook post suggesting supporters of President Trump should “pledge to give up their ventilators for someone else” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In an exchange first flagged by Republican strategist Michael Caputo, Laura Krolczyk, vice president for external affairs at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, posted an article about the Trump administration’s reluctance to pay Ventec and General Motors $1 billion to produce ventilators, according to The Buffalo News.

In a conversation with Hauptman Woodward Medical Research Institute Director of Development Lisa LaTrovato, Krolczyk wrote, “Trump supporters need to pledge to give up their ventilators for someone else … and not go to the hospital.”

In response, LaTrovato wrote, “I think they should be the only ones in packed churches on Sunday,” to which Krolczyk replied, “They should barricade themselves in there and ride this out.”

When another Facebook user accused the two of “saying we [decide] who lives and [who dies] based on political views,” Krolczyk wrote, “That’s literally what he’s saying. Take your ‘wow’ and comprehend what your hero is saying. Your hero is saying YOU don’t need a ventilator. So don’t take one.”

After Caputo highlighted the exchange, Roswell Park said in a statement that the remarks were “inappropriate,” adding, “This behavior is not tolerated at Roswell Park. If any team members act in a way that does not accord with that commitment, we will take swift and appropriate action, just as we did in this instance.”

Krolczyk was initially placed on administrative leave but has since been fired, Annie Deck-Miller, a spokeswoman for the hospital, told The Buffalo News on Saturday. Hauptman Woodward said it has placed LaTrovato on leave.

“Leadership is addressing this regrettable personnel matter directly with the individual involved, who has been placed on administrative leave pending further internal review,” the research institute said.

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