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Kirstie Alley Insists She Does Support Masks After CNN Slams Her for 'Downplaying' COVID

Robyn Merrett
·4-min read

Getty Images Kirstie Alley

Kirstie Alley has responded after CNN slammed her for "downplaying" the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, the actress and the network got into a heated Twitter exchange after Alley, 69, accused CNN of causing people to "live in terror" due to their coverage of the global health crisis.

"I now know why my personal friends who walk around in SHEER TERROR of contracting COVID are simply CNN viewers!" Alley tweeted.

"I decided to watch CNN myself to get a their viewpoint and oh my God DID I EVER!!!! If YOU TOO WANT TO LIVE IN TERROR WATCH CNN!! FEAR OF DYING IS THEIR MANTRA! OMG!" she added.

CNN's official communications account promptly responded to Alley, clapping back, "Kirstie, you are welcome to change the channel — just like countless viewers did every time 'Veronica's Closet' came on TV," in reference to her 1997 sitcom.

"But don't downplay the loss of nearly 230K American lives. And please, wear a mask," the tweet continued.

Alley, who has been vocal about her support for President Donald Trump, fired back: "Meow... if only you paid as much attention to Joe Biden's alleged corrupt business dealings as a TV show that was rated top ten in 1997... guess you got that wrong too."

RELATED: Kirstie Alley Slams New Motion Picture Academy Diversity Requirements as a 'Disgrace'

While the exchange between CNN and Alley ended there, she further addressed the incident in another tweet, asserting that she has never discouraged wearing masks during the pandemic.

"Find ONE tweet I've tweeted to encourage people NOT to wear masks or NOT be careful or that has said anything disrespectful about sick people or those who have died... there isn't one. THIS is how FAKE information spreads like," she tweeted alongside a GIF of what appears to be oozing lava.

As of Friday, more than 9 million Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 229,000 have died from the virus, according to The New York Times.

On Thursday, the U.S. broke their record for the highest number of new infections in one day with 90,278, well above the caseload from the country's previous spike in July.

The Trump administration's head of COVID-19 testing said this week that the record-breaking numbers of new infections in the country are "real," and not because of an increase in testing, counter to what Trump has claimed.

"Testing may be identifying some more cases, I think that's clearly true, but what we're seeing is a real increase in the numbers," Testing czar Admiral Brett Giroir, also an assistant secretary of Health and Human Services who was appointed to his position by Trump, told the Washington Post.

Giroir urged Americans to keep up hygiene practices, wear masks and social distance as the crisis could get worse.

"So, you know, we really have a mixed picture, but we are tenuous now," he said. "We really have to re-engage the public health measures that we know work or those hospitalizations can go up substantially."

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.