An emergency medicine physician who says he was fired from Yuma Regional Medical Center over a social media post about a lack of Intensive Care Unit beds in Arizona during the COVID-19 pandemic says he cannot return to his job at the hospital.
In a statement late Thursday, the hospital says it's all a misunderstanding, but Dr. Cleavon Gilman says he has lost trust with officials at YRMC. He says he has not worked there since Nov. 23 and has not been allowed to return.
But Thursday, YRMC officials said he is scheduled to work this weekend. Dr. Gilman says he won’t be there.
“ I can’t trust a place that would do this to an Iraq war veteran and a person that has been very outspoken about the pandemic trying to raise awareness about this and not allow me to work during this surge,” Gilman told KAWC.
Dr. Gilman has gained a following for his social media posts and received a call from President-Elect Joe Biden thanking him for his work. He was in New York City at the beginning of the pandemic and moved his family to Yuma in the summer.
Gilman has appeared on CNN and in a livestream with former Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke. On Twitter @Cleavon_MD where he had more than 95,000 followers as of Sunday, he has memorialized victims of COVID-19 and also criticized Gov. Doug Ducey and the state response to the pandemic.
Gilman is employed by EmCare/Envision, a national company that contracts with YRMC.
In a released statement, hospital officials said "While he is not speaking on behalf of YRMC, we respect Dr. Gilman’s right to share his personal perspective on the pandemic... This is an “all hands on deck” moment, in our emergency department and thousands of others across the country. We need good caregivers like Dr. Gilman here, serving patients at the bedside and providing the best care possible, and we are grateful for all of those who continue to do that on the frontline every day."
Gilman said people should stay home as much as possible and continue wearing a mask and practicing social distancing in public to slow the spread of COVID-19.