One executive from a Buffalo hospital was fired and another from an associated research center placed on leave after the two exchanged Facebook comments suggesting supporters of President Donald Trump infect each other with the coronavirus.
Laura Krolczyk, the vice president for external affairs at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, was terminated after an investigation into the exchange with the director of development for the neighboring Hauptman Woodward Medical Research Institute, Lisa LaTrovato. Hauptman said LaTrovato has been placed on leave, according to the Buffalo News.
Krolczyk posted a story link about the Trump administration’s reluctance to pay $1 billion to General Motors and Ventec for ventilator production.
In the caption to the article, she wrote: “Vote Trump.”
In another comment, she wrote: “Trump supporters need to pledge to give up their ventilators for someone else … and not go to the hospital.”
LaTrovato responded by saying, Trump supporters “should be the only ones in packed churches on Sunday.”
“They should barricade themselves in there and ride this out,” Krolczyk replied.
Roswell Park issued a statement calling posts by Krolczyk, who was not identified by name, “inappropriate.”
“They do not reflect the opinions of Roswell Park or its senior leadership,” CEO Candace S. Johnson said in the statement. “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, previously worked for Hillary Clinton and Democratic New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. LaTrovato, meanwhile, worked in the past for the late New York Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter.
Their comments came to light after Michael Caputo, identified by the News as a Republican operative, shared the women’s posts with his 37,000 Twitter followers on Friday.
Why are your senior executives advocating this sick strategy online? For the love of God, you both exist to fight disease!
CALL THEM NOW!
Roswell: 716-845-2300 pic.twitter.com/Xz6cyp85HF
— Read/Watch The Ukraine Hoax! ???? (@MichaelRCaputo) March 27, 2020
According to public records, Krolczyk earned $226,580 in 2019.
Hauptman on Saturday issued a statement that that did not identify LaTrovato by name.
“HWI leadership is addressing this regrettable personnel matter directly with the individual involved, who has been placed on administrative leave pending further internal review,” it said.