It has become glaringly apparent that some international leaders have had sign language interpreters for their COVID-19 updates while others have not. Justin Trudeau of Canada has had two, one for English and one for French. Donald Trump has notably had none. Also recently absent from President Trump’s briefings was Dr. Fauci.
White Coat Weekly correspondents have reached out to Dr. Fauci and the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) to understand why the hearing impaired community is being so clearly ignored. NAD liaison Dexter Oushands has replied that the NAD has decided to not provide or request American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters as part of a difficult decision to actually protect the hearing impaired community. “ASL is a complex language that has multiple nuances and dialects to help capture sarcasm, frustration, and ignorance,” Explains Mr. Oushands. After the last several presidential meetings, signing for Dr. Fauci has resulted in multiple interpreters being admitted to the hospital for severe brain bleeds and concussions as they are dedicated to presenting Dr. Fauci’s obvious sentiments of beating his head against the wall.
“Of course we want our community to remain informed, but the COVID-19 crisis affects us all, and the last thing we need is for members of the ASL community to be taking up ICU beds for preventable reasons not related to COVID,” Oushands continued. When asked if he feels that this will adversely affect members of the NAD as subtitles may be taking jobs better served for interpreters, he stated, “At times like this, we wish to best portray the facts and keep our community safe. In order to best do this, we have decided that it is in the hearing impaired communities best interest to not seek out the president’s advice and to avoid drinking bleach.”
Dr. Fauci’s office also highlighted his concerns for the NAD and hearing impaired community. “It is hard enough to stand up there and remain calm, cool, and collected for the good of the American people while Mr. Trump is talking. When you add in an ASL interpreter who just looks at you wondering if that is really what he just said, it is really quite distracting.” When asked about the condition of his last interpreter who was last seen being transported to the local ER after knocking himself out while signing “he actually said that”, Dr. Fauci’s representative said it would be a violation of HIPAA. When the White House team was asked for a comment, a single hand gesture was provided that is not appropriate for print.