SHAUN KING: While the Rich and Famous get Tested for the Coronavirus, Everybody Else Just Begs and Wonders if They Have it

My family and I live in Brooklyn. We are HUGE Brooklyn Nets fans. Kevin Durant is one of my favorite professional athletes. And yesterday, as we learned that four different basketball players from the Nets, including Durant, tested positive for the coronavirus, we were shocked for a few minutes. But for me, that shock soon turned to frustration.

Durant said he didn’t have any symptoms and was feeling just fine. Donovan Mitchell, of the Utah Jazz, who also tested positive for COVID-19, said the same thing. Famous actor Idris Elba, who tested positive, also says he’s feeling fine right now. We’re hearing the same from famous people all over the world.

But here in the United States, from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed at night, I am having desperate people reach out to me, saying they are horribly sick with all of the symptoms of the coronavirus, including fevers that won’t break, trouble breathing, and more. No matter how much they beg, they just can’t get a doctor or hospital to test them.

My friend of more than 10 years, Carlos Whittaker, has tried for over a week to get his dear mother tested. She’s 68 years old, has been rushed to the hospital twice this week struggling with coronavirus-like symptoms, and they just won’t test her. She’s had a fever, cough, and chills for 11 days. Now, her 92-year-old father was just hospitalized. They refuse to test him.

My friend, Robb Flynn, lives in the Bay Area of California. He had a close relative die suddenly this past week with coronavirus-like symptoms. His family has begged them to test the relative in an autopsy or to at least test family members. Finally, he went in to get tested himself and the doctor told him, “there’s really only about 400 test kits in all of Northern California right now...I can’t test you.”

400 tests??? Over 10 million people live in Northern California!

Yet, asymptomatic athletes and entertainers are getting tested on demand. It’s not OK. Every single player and staff member of the Utah Jazz, nearly 60 people, were tested just as a precaution. And listen, I’m not mad that they were tested. But I am furious that everyday people, who are sick as they’ve ever been, can’t get tested no matter what they say or do.

We have no idea how many people in this country actually have the coronavirus. I’m not sure we’ll ever really know.


At the end of each story we publish about the coronavirus, we are now sharing the following information:

Coronavirus 411

Coronavirus, officially named SARS-CoV-2 but also known as COVID-19, is a novel virus that causes a number of respiratory illnesses, including lung lesions and pneumonia. The virus spreads easily from person to person through the air when a sick person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes.

COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan, China, has spread to some 136 countries. More than 204,000 people around the world have become infected and more than 8,000 people have died. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic. President Donald Trump declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency on March 13.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can take between two to 14 days to appear. The CDC recommends calling your doctor if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms, including fever, cough and difficulty breathing. If you also experience persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse and bluish lips or face, seek medical attention immediately.

In order to keep yourself and others safe, be sure to wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing and avoid touching your face. The CDC is recommending that gatherings of 50 people or more be canceled for the next eight weeks. Click here for information on how to prepare for a quarantine.