One actor is exposing how difficult it is to get the coronavirus test and how easy it is to get an expensive hospital bill during the ongoing pandemic.
Daniel Newman attempted to get tested after he began exhibiting minor symptoms and learned that a colleague tested positive for COVID-19.
However, he quickly learned that there was a shortage of tests and neither his doctor nor the urgent-care clinics he reached out to had any tests.
And even when he finally found a major hospital in Atlanta that did have the test, he was refused until someone recognized him as the actor from "The Walking Dead."
“Preferential treatment is disgusting,” the 38-year-old told CNN.
Unfortunately, a famous mug will only get you so far. While Newman was able to track down a test and take it, his star power tapped out there as the hospital told him that they couldn’t get him the results.
Instead, they hit him with a hefty invoice 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,’ ” he said, adding, “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 continued on in an Instagram post of a selfie he took while in the hospital.
He questioned why the U.S. was so unprepared despite an ample amount of time to figure out a process: “Why after almost three months since China is our country not prepared with tests, masks, hand sanitizer, toilet paper!”
Newman concluded that the public needs to do their part in preventing the spread altogether: “We are all going through this together. Please be safe, wash your hands, stay 6 feet or more away from people and stay home.”
This isn’t the first instance in which status directly correlates with being able to get tested, reported the New York Times. Heidi Klum and many sports teams easily got their hands on tests.