‘Above the Law’ Blog Founder David Lat Leaves ICU But Is ‘Not Out of the Woods Yet’ With COVID-19

The lawyer and writer has chronicled his diagnosis and time in the ICU on social media

David Lat
NYU Law/YouTube

David Lat, lawyer and founder of the “Above the Law” blog, has used social media to chronicle his coronavirus symptoms, diagnosis, hospitalization and path to recovery for weeks. On Saturday, he updated his followers to say he’s out of the ICU but not “out of the woods.”

In a Facebook post, he joked that he’s been moved to “a floor that’s not nearly as nice” before assuring readers, “I’m doing worlds better than I was this time last time last week, when I was unconscious and intubated, having a machine breathe for me because I couldn’t do so myself.”

His saga started earlier in the month when, on March 17, he tweeted, FYI – I have a confirmed case of #covid19 aka #coronavirus. If you interacted with me in person after 2/23, you can cite that fact and get automatically tested. Otherwise you might have to go to the ridiculous efforts I had to in order to get a simple test that other countries have given to their citizens by the hundreds of thousands (the U.S. isn’t even at 21K tests).” 

In the following days, Lat chronicles the symptoms he said he began feeling on March 9 and the difficulty he experienced getting tested. Then on March 23, his husband told CNN Lat was in the ICU on a ventilator.

Lat’s detailed retelling on social media garnered him lots of engagement as it painted a very real picture of what is going on for hundreds of thousands of infected people. Celebrities like Cher, Anthony Rapp and Patricia Arquette were quick to offer well-wishes.

Since his story reached such a high level of visibility online, Lat’s become an outspoken advocate for doctors and a proponent of measures to get more ventilators into hospitals.