As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world, testing is still hard to come by in the US.
However, as celebrities continue to test positive for the virus, many have been left wondering why it’s easier for the wealthy to get tested right away when the rest of us are told to just self-isolate.
NBA players have been testing positive for the last few weeks, with six players being diagnosed with the virus, including Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, and Kevin Durant.
In the wake of the diagnosis, Michelle Roberts, NBA Players Association Executive Director, has come out defending teams’ easy access to testing following backlash.
“The problem that more of us can’t get the tests – and I’m not apologetic about saying it – in my view, that rests at the foot of the federal government,” Roberts told ESPN. “They were responsible for making sure we were protected in that regard, and I think they failed.”⠀⠀⠀
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was one of many who were skeptical of NBA players getting tested more than most people.
“We wish them a speedy recovery. But, with all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested,” he said. “Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick.”
Following these remarks, NBA spokesperson Mike Bass released a statement informing de Blasio and everyone else, questioning the organization, that players were being tested due to their “close interactions with the general public.”
“Public health authorities and team doctors have been concerned that, given NBA players’ direct contact with each other and close interactions with the general public, in addition to their frequent travel, they could accelerate the spread of the virus,” Bass said. “Following two players testing positive last week, others were tested, and five additional players tested positive.”
“We shouldn’t be fighting about this now … but once this is done and we get through it, and we will let’s figure out who screwed up and fix that,” Roberts continued.