Remember the classic Abbott & Costello “Who’s on First” routine? Referring to a baseball team, Lou Costello keeps asking Bud Abbott who’s playing first base. Abbott responds “Who” because “Who” is the actual name of the first baseman. The answer leaves Costello totally bamboozled. If you are not familiar with this routine, we recommend you google it. Be prepared to laugh.

What is not funny, however, is when the real life WHO, the World Health Organization, offers a head-scratching explanation about asymptomatic Covid 19. Is there really such a thing or are the symptoms simply different? The WHO’s Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove delivered a confusing message during a news briefing this week:

Van Kerkhove received severe criticism from other health officials over that statement and others made during the news briefing. She should have been clear and concise about the definition of asymptomatic. The WHO was forced to issue a clarification the next day.

To add insult to injury, Van Kerkhove ended the statement with the term “PCR positive,” jargon for Covid 19 positive. When delivering key messages, eliminate jargon and speak in terms everyone, even poor Lou Costello, can understand.

The Terri Ammerman Group is now ready to safely resume communications training in person. We invite you to view our Crisis Communications Response Retainer package that can be done virtually, as well as our Crisis Communications Spokesperson Training that we do in person.