Updated March 15, 2020 - 9:15 pm
A former Ms. Nevada winner has earned a new title.
Katie Williams, a Clark County School District Board of Trustees candidate and a former Ms. Nevada winner who was stripped of her title, on Saturday became known as the Twitter hashtag #CoronaKatie after she reacted to a congresswoman’s tweet urging people to stay away from crowded areas amid the spread of the coronavirus.
In her tweet, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez offered her followers a reminder of what public health officials have advised as government officials try to slow the spread of the virus.
“PLEASE stop crowding bars, restaurants, and public spaces right now. Eat your meals at home.”
Hours later, Williams’ account, @realkatiejow, replied: “I just went to a crowded Red Robin and I’m 30.”
Williams continued, “It was delicious, and I took my sweet time eating my meal.”
And Williams concluded: “Because this is America. And I’ll do what I want.”
The reply took off on Twitter, and thousands of tweets led #CoronaKatie to trend on the social networking website.
Even Red Robin, the national hamburger chain, earned some attention from Williams’ tweet at a time of uncertainty for businesses. In a later tweet, Williams noted her original tweet had an effect: “When you can get @redrobinburgers trending! I want my royalties now.”
Hundreds of accounts mocked the tweet, piling on criticism with GIF-laden quips.
“Red Robin: Burgers Worth Killing Grandma For,” one user tweeted.
— Quarantined in Seattle (@TellTried) March 15, 2020
Williams did not return a phone call Sunday night seeking comment about the tweets.
She is currently running as a candidate for CCSD Board of Trustees District B.
All this happened the same day the school district itself reminded parents school would continue on a normal schedule Monday morning. Gov. Sisolak on Sunday announced that all schools would be closed till April 6 at least.
Public health officials in Nevada and across the globe have recommended people avoid large crowds and limit their personal contacts, in an effort called “social distancing.”
Williams’ social media presence appears to have lost her the Ms. Nevada 2019 title after the Ms. America Pageant said Williams’ messaging online was too political and in violation of its policy. After Williams accused the organization of having a political bias against her — she supports President Trump on her accounts — the organization accused her of “distorting the facts.”
“All the pageant asked of Ms. Williams, in writing, is to keep separate social media accounts,” a statement from organization at the time read. “One is for politics where she can voice her own opinion as Katie Williams and the other is a new Facebook page for the pageant representing Ms. Nevada State 2019.”
Ms. America ultimately took away her title, saying Williams did not comply with the organization’s “no-politics” policy.