An Alabama nurse is in hot water after posting a series of videos on TikTok in which he shares his views on everything from the COVID-19 vaccine to slavery and homosexuality.
He was outed on the platform after showing his work ID badge on camera. Another user created a compilation of his videos, calling him out for his hateful language and lack of accuracy. The post seems to have caught the attention of the nurse’s employers, and now he’s out of a job.
Caught Speaking Out on Social Media
Nathan Coy used to post regularly on TikTok under the handle @conservativecoy1776. He was known for sharing his highly controversial views on a range of topics, including racism, the trans community, and the pandemic. He had just under 10,000 followers on the platform, but his time on social media seems to have come to an end.
The TikTokker known as @rx0rcist, whose real name is Savannah Sparks, has built a reputation – and a massive online following – for calling out professionals in the medical community when they spread misinformation about the coronavirus.
She created a montage of Coy’s videos to show the world what he really thinks when he’s not at work.
In the first clip where Coy is featured, he calls out a mother that’s considering enrolling her child in a clinical trial for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“So, I got a question. So, your six-month-old wants to be in a f—— clinical trial for COVID? Good job, Mom! These people are f—— stupid,” Coy said.
Sparks then interrupts Coy by inserting her own video. “I warned you that we were going to hold you accountable,” Savannah said, “You see, while you’ve gotten super comfortable spreading COVID disinformation, racism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, literally all the phobias you’ve hit in your videos, you forgot the part where freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.”
Another Coy video appears. This time he suggests that there weren’t as many slaveholders as people say there were, just people that want to use the victim card.
In another clip, Coy laughs at a video of a patient that can’t afford to pay their doctor’s bill.
“Hey buddy, you better get used to saying that s—,” Coy said.
Going Viral (For All the Wrong Reasons)
Sparks then adds several clips that show Coy wearing his scrubs. He also appears on camera in a hospital room wearing his ID badge. For a few seconds, the viewer can make out his name and where he works: Baptist Health in Montgomery.
Sparks ends the video by saying how terrible it would be if someone forwarded all of Coy’s videos to his employer – or the Alabama Board of Nursing.
The montage of Coy appeared on Reddit under the headline “Nurse gets fired for inflammatory posts on tiktok, was identified because some of the videos were recorded in uniform.”
The post quickly went viral, racking up 44,000 upvotes and over 6,700 comments.
Several users chimed in with their views on Coy. “He looks and sounds like the a**hole character who talks sh*t in every horror movie. Then when he finally gets it…we all collectively clap. What a prick. ?,” wrote one user.
“I don’t understand how anyone can be a nurse and not understand how masks work. I was studying to be a nurse and [did] some of the prerequisite classes like A&P and microbiology. That still gave me enough knowledge about how germs can spread to know how masks help. This guy is as ignorant as he is smug,” another person wrote.
Once the news spread, it wasn’t long before Coy was out of a job. When reached by email, Kadie Agnew, Communications Manager for Baptist Health, said Coy no longer works there and hasn’t since April. His license number has also been removed from the Alabama Board of Nursing database
“We do not tolerate discrimination of any type at Baptist Health,” Agnew said in a message.
The Watchdog of TikTok
This isn’t the first time that Sparks, 31, has called out someone for their behavior on social media. She’s a lactation consultant and doctor of pharmacy in Mississippi and the mother of a 2-year-old girl.
In May, she released a video of a nurse wearing a blue cardigan and brown scrubs dancing to the song “Lotus Flower Bomb” while claiming that common medications, including those for cholesterol and hormonal birth control, cause cancer. “Most common meds I’ve filled that cause cancer,” the nurse says in the video.
That’s when Sparks cuts in with her own commentary.
“My name’s Savannah. I’m a doctor at a pharmacy, and I’m about to absolutely wreck your s—,” Sparks says right before fact-checking the nurse’s claims.
Sparks went on to forward the video to the nurse’s employer. “Her scope of practice doesn’t allow her…to counsel on medications so, especially coming from the realm of pharmacy, which is my wheelhouse, I really went in on that individual and I was like, ‘You really should not be talking about this,'” Sparks said.
Now, she’s known as a whistleblower for medical misinformation on TikTok, where she currently has almost 500,000 followers.
“In the past, I have been a little more reserved with how aggressive I have gone after these people, but the longer this pandemic went on, and the more and more misinformation we started seeing as health care workers on social media, the less I started caring about my tone and coming across a certain way,” Sparks said.
These kinds of videos tend to attract a lot of attention on social media, acting as a kind of catharsis for people’s frustrations when it comes to misinformation and rule-breaking.
Karen North, a professor of digital social media at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, says, “We all know people who have done things that step over the lines in terms of what we think is right during a pandemic, whether it’s not wearing a mask or being anti-vaxxers or jumping the line to get a vaccine…to the extent we’re frustrated by people we know in our own social circles who are breaking our rules. We can now go online and not only watch someone break a rule, but watch someone attack someone for breaking a rule.”
If you post misinformation online, don’t be surprised if @rx0rcist calls you out.