When an online service isn't responsive, a cry for customer service assistance on Twitter is a highly effective maneuver. Placing customer experience under a very public microscope like this is a common go to.
However, that approach is not advised if you're the Acting Deputy Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security of the United States.
Ken Cuccinelli became the Acting Deputy Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security on November 13, 2019. The outbreak of the Coronavirus began in December 2020.
There's no on-the-job training quite like a global pandemic viral threat.
Aside from his assumed top post in DHS, Cuccinelli also joined the U.S. task force dedicated to defending against the virus' spread.
With confirmed cases in 37 countries around the globe, a major player in the anti-Coronavirus task force inevitably needed to get his hands on some maps. The best maps.
As would become wildly public, Cuccinelli ran into a snag while he attempted to access Johns Hopkins' Center for Systems Science and Engineering Department map.
Johns Hopkins CSSE
In his defense, that map is extremely cool and worth some trouble-shooting over.
Though you'd think Cuccinelli would then simply use the unique powers accessible to him as the head of a governmental agency. Surely a phone call gets you far with that business card.
Cuccinelli did not do that.
Instead, he put his feelers out on Twitter.
Has the Johns Hopkins map of the coronavirus stopped working for other people, or just me? https://t.co/36uda8fm6P— Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli (@Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli) 1582572939.0
He evidently struggled for a little bit.
A few moments later, he followed up with some more complaints.
I just tried again, and it looks like Johns Hopkins put the information behind a membership wall of some kind. See… https://t.co/DsmaWJh8ar— Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli (@Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli) 1582573174.0
Twitter was a bit horrified that someone of his significance didn't have access to the very best intelligence around, ideally that of the Center for Disease Control.
@HomelandKen PLEASE can someone tell me that this is a parody account and that our Executive branch has a CLUE of w… https://t.co/5fYenQCl7b— (((Howard Forman))) (@(((Howard Forman)))) 1582577582.0
@HomelandKen Just the Department of Homeland Security asking for Tech Support on Twitter... https://t.co/PCMgMdU0F2 https://t.co/bCvIAJHbtH— JudgeYouHarshly 😷🍸🦁🏴🇨🇭 (@JudgeYouHarshly 😷🍸🦁🏴🇨🇭) 1582580334.0
@HomelandKen https://t.co/eMUpfwNIRr— Resisting Bitch Face (@Resisting Bitch Face) 1582643235.0
@AmoneyResists @HomelandKen We truly are an oligarchy now--complete with incompetent buffoons running agencies who… https://t.co/Y82r21u1zS— 🍑2cannan🍑 (@🍑2cannan🍑) 1582580794.0
One person did give some age-old wisdom.
@HomelandKen Have you tried turning off your computer and turning it back on again?— J_Dmore 🌊 🆘️ (@J_Dmore 🌊 🆘️) 1582597875.0
Cuccinelli eventually was forced to respond to the outcry of concern.
For some of you who have commented on the subject, I do have the benefit of CDC's data. Obviously, my view is the m… https://t.co/XB7JaoBeoX— Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli (@Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli) 1582582837.0
At time of writing, there have been 34 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus and no deaths. Fingers crossed that all the free software around keeps humming along flawlessly for Cuccinelli to keep everyone safe.