“It’s the wild, wild West out there,” Dr. Edward Goldberg, a Manhattan internist said. “There’s very little unified messaging and when that happens, the rich and privileged jump the line. And the rules about testing keep changing and they differ state to state — and country by country.”
Everyone from Bravo host Andy Cohen, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Prince Charles, Prince Albert of Monaco, Placido Domingo, Debi Mazar, Jackson Browne, Idris Elba, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Kris Jenner, at least eight NBA teams and others have been tested — even when asymptomatic.
Then again, fame doesn’t guarantee a test. Heidi Klum reported that she was initially unable to get tested, then she did — and tested negative. Comedian Kathy Griffin posted a selfie on Instagram from an “isolation ward room” after experiencing “unbearably painful symptoms” that she believes came from the virus. But she said she was unable to get tested and blamed the Trump administration.
New York City doctors have been told not to test patients unless they are seriously sick, partly because those in crisis need to be able to get their test results as fast as possible. Many doctors around the country just don’t have enough test kits. Others, like a high-end doctor in Santa Monica, offered a “limited” number of “kits” to his VIP patients at $250 apiece.
Jessica Church, a publicist, said her friend got a rash last week and went to her dermatologist, who immediately tested her for coronavirus. But when Church came down
“It’s like there’s no rhyme or reason to it,” said Church.
Many doctors are furious that South Korea and British Columbia, Canada, masterfully flattened the curves of their own coronavirus epidemics by early, wide-scale testing and the US did not.
“We’ve seen reports that Congress was briefed in late January,” said Dr. David Wohl, an infectious diseases specialist on the COVID-19 response team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“In early February the signs were clear. That was the time to ramp up. If this had been a military threat we would have done a fantastic job. But because this was biological, we weren’t ready for reasons that are still not totally clear to me. All I can tell you is there’s been a serious lack of preparation and coordination and we’re all going to pay the price.”
Actress Lynne Taylor is one of the few who may have the virus, but understands why she wasn’t tested.
Taylor contracted what her doctor believes was the coronavirus after being infected by a
When Taylor herself felt symptoms coming on, she scheduled a video call with her physician.
“I trust my doctor,” Taylor told The Post. “She felt I had the virus, but my symptoms were not serious enough to go to the hospital or be tested. She told me to self-quarantine. She said going out to get a test could endanger other people, and that testing should be reserved for the very sick. That made sense to me.”