Mom of two, Whitney Leavitt makes dance videos on TikTok. She danced her way through pregnancy, early labor, and seemingly hours after giving birth. Sometimes her dance videos are in response to comments or questions. Her husband and kids are often incorporated into her videos.
However, when her newborn was hospitalized with RSV, an upper respiratory virus, and Leavitt danced with him in the frame, people had a lot of opinions. In the now-deleted TikTok, Leavitt is responding to a comment that stated, “sending prayers… but what happened? I’m so confused.”
Leavitt gives her son a kiss on the cheek before breaking into a dance with captions telling the situation. “Little Lee was taken in ’cause of low oxygen.” The captions continued, “he tested positive for RSV, waiting for him to breathe better on his own.”
Leavitt later took down the video, however, it has been re-uploaded to Twitter, Reddit, and other social media sites. The response to the video was somewhat mixed, but people mainly took issue with the disconnect of Leavitt dancing while her son was sick enough to be hospitalized. One commenter pointed out that, “TikTok has normalized doing the most strange, unacceptable, diametrically opposed things and generating buzz.”
Many commenters expressed how uncomfortable the video made them. “The little kiss at the beginning made it bad but the captions and her smile while dancing made it so much worse. So yeah, it was horrible the whole time,” stated one Reddit user.
However, some people gave her the benefit of the doubt. One commenter stated, “Okay, I’m gonna be that person. I don’t understand the outrage. The baby is in the best place he needed to be, getting treatment by medical professionals. She stayed with the baby at the hospital and is dancing to a response on TikTok.”
In a now-deleted apology video, Leavitt stated she took down the original video and “could see where somebody could get the wrong idea, but that honestly was just me just trying to be positive in this situation.” She then thanked those who have reached out to her family, stating that she “really appreciates it.”
In more recent TikTok videos someone asked “How’s little Lee doing?” Leavitt responds (in dance!) that she can’t believe he’s almost a month old, he still has his morning and nights mixed up, and that he’s healthier than ever.