‘I’m not lovin’ the ventilator’: provocative billboard questions McDonald’s inside hospital

TAMPA, Fla. — A billboard in Tampa, Florida, is calling on a hospital to change the food options it offers.

The billboard, which says “I’m Not Lovin’ the Ventilator,” a play on the McDonald’s slogan “I’m lovin’ it,” shows a patient in the hospital with the text, “High-fat fast food can contribute to obesity, putting Covid patients at risk for intubation. Ask @TGHCares to go #FastFoodFree.”

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The billboard was sponsored by The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which wants Tampa General Hospital to get rid of the McDonald’s restaurant on the first floor of its hospital, WFLA reported.

Tampa General Hospital, in an email to the Tampa Bay Times, said their dietary team works to “provide everyone with a range of choices including vegan, vegetarian and lighter options,” and said that the hospital contracts with providers like McDonald’s to offer “convenient meal options.”

In a statement, Susan Levin, who is part of The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, said: “It is urgent that hospitals, including Tampa General, provide plant-based meals that can help people prevent and even reverse obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other diet-related diseases that can put COVID-19 patients at risk for severe illness,” WFLA reported.

The physicians group also filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County saying the hospital should change its dining options, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

The billboard is scheduled to stay up through Feb. 12, WFLA reported.