From the start of the United States’ battle against the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, it’s been increasingly common to hear from celebrities who’ve tested positive for the virus, though testing has been scarce for the rest of us.
So, how are they getting their hands on the tests?
VICE media reporters reached out to celebrities who’ve taken such tests, asking them that very question.
Unfortunately, their responses, or lack there of, essentially keep the answer to that question in the dark. Here’s an incomplete list of the individuals who’ve declined to comment or have not responded since Friday on how they obtained a scarce COVID-19 test:
- Tom Hanks
- Rita Wilson
- Idris Elba
- Rachel Matthews
- Kristofer Hivju
- Heidi Klum
- Celine Dion
- Sean Payton
- Andy Cohen
- Charles Barkley
Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” host Andy Cohen tweeted about not being able to obtain a test days before he announced he had the virus, VICE highlighted.
“Worth noting there isn’t any real way to get your hands on a Corona Test in Manhattan. How is this possible?” posted Cohen.
Worth noting there isn’t any real way to get your hands on a Corona Test in Manhattan. How is this possible?
— Andy Cohen (@Andy) March 19, 2020
TV star Colton Underwood of “The Bachelor” did not respond to VICE directly, but did offer some insight via social media, contending that he had not received “special treatment” in obtaining a novel coronavirus test.
Underwood announced Saturday that he tested positive and told PEOPLE magazine “that his girlfriend tried to get him two tests, but he was rejected, before finding a doctor who still had tests,” VICE reported.
“There was no special treatment,” said “The Bachelor” star. “I got tested as Colton Underwood, not [the Bachelor]. I was just fighting for my health.”
When it comes to professional sports teams, some told VICE that they their players were tested by local health departments.
“The Utah Jazz were tested by the Oklahoma City health department last week, and confirmed that Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell had received positive diagnoses,” the outlet reported.
A spokesperson for the NBA’s Denver Nuggets responded, “We went through the state officials to get the individual tested.”
“That is why only one person was tested, our whole team/basketball staff was not tested,” the spokesperson added. “We are following state guidelines and protocols that unless showing symptoms you aren’t tested and this individual was showing symptoms.”
Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who were both in Australia at the time they learned they have COVID-19, quickly became the Hollywood face of the virus, being among the first visible American celebrities to test positive.
“Hello folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had cold hands, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive,” Hanks announced in a statement via social media last Monday. “We Hanks will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires.”
As Vice President Mike Pence advised Monday, “if you don’t have symptoms, you don’t need a coronavirus test.”