Even celebrities can’t get their coronavirus test results in the United States — just the bill.
After having a colleague test positive for COVID-19 and developing minor symptoms himself, “The Walking Dead” actor Daniel Newman sought to be tested in Georgia. He called around and discovered his own doctor and many urgent-care clinics didn’t even have the tests available. When he finally found a large hospital in Atlanta that did have them, it was only after Newman was recognized for his role on the AMC horror TV series that he was given one.
“Preferential treatment is disgusting,” Newman, 38, tells CNN of being among the few to receive a test for the novel coronavirus. But apparently, even fame isn’t enough to get the results of the test — only an invoice to the tune of $9,116.
“$9,000 later they were letting me know, ‘We need the ER beds and your symptoms are super mild, so the government has told us we are not even allowed to process your test,’ ” says Newman. “They just let me and lots of other elderly and young people go home to self-quarantine without even being able to process the tests.”
“They’re only allowed to process ‘severe symptoms, elderly, or people recently in Italy and China,’ ” he writes in an Instagram post of himself in a hospital room. “Why after almost three months since China is our country not prepared with tests, masks, hand sanitizer, toilet paper!”
Newman ends his post, which has racked up over 113,000 likes, with an encouraging note and a public service announcement. “We are all going through this together. Please be safe, wash your hands, stay 6 feet or more away from people and stay home.”
The actor isn’t the only famous face who has received the test due to his celebrity status: Influencer Arielle Charnas managed to score a test thanks to her connections, a move Governor Andrew Cuomo has blasted and called “100 percent wrong.”
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