The Walking Dead actor Daniel Newman was recently tested for the virus causing the current global pandemic, only to discover that the test would never actually be processed because his symptoms were "mild."
The kicker is that he was still charged over $9,000 for the emergency room visit and test, though he will likely never get the results.
Newman posted a heartfelt explanation of the situation to Instagram, along with a photo of himself in the emergency room.
First, Newman thanked fans for their concern.
"Thanks for all the concern! I guess a lot of #WalkingDead fans saw me in the emergency room [...] Sorry I didn't reply I needed time to process."
Needing time to come to terms with the situation is certainly understandable.
"So here's what happened. Yes I was just in Australia with Sam Smith, Dua Lipa, and thousands of people from around the world for Mardi Gras Pride."
"I was exposed to some sick people and I started developing symptoms and then back in the states I was notified someone in our group tested positive [...] I spent all day calling every urgent care and hospital no one had tests!"
Even with known exposure and symptoms, Newman struggled to find anyone who could test him for the virus.
He eventually found one hospital and followed their advice by going in to be tested—only to find out that they couldn't actually process the test.
"Finally I found one emergency room that told me my symptoms match and to come in immediately. I did all the tests and they told me because I have 'mild symptoms' the government won't allow them to process my tests!"
Severe restrictions have been placed on testing in many areas due to the shortage of chemical reagents needed to process the tests.
"They don't have enough they're not prepared, even though all my symptoms match. They're only allowed to process 'severe symptoms, elderly, or people recently in Italy and China'."
Newman didn't find this out until after he visited the emergency room and had the swabs done for the test.
But he's still stuck with the bill for a test that won't be processed.
"It cost me $9,116!! and they didn't even give me results. They sent me home and tons of other ill people that could potentially infect their communities, just telling us to 'self Quarantine'."
Self-quarantine is definitely good advice, but it does seem woefully lacking under the circumstances.
Newman had some pointed questions about the way the crisis has been handled by the government.
"Why after almost 3 months since China is our country not prepared with tests, masks, hand sanitizer, toilet paper! Why after one day of shaky stock markets did they invest 1.5 trillion into the markets, but not the Healthcare system after three months!"
Followed by some scathing commentary.
"This was not a surprise, this was not being prepared. We've already gone through #H1N1 #SARS why didn't we have a pandemic unit ready when this happens every few years!?"
He pled for people to follow best practices and look out for one another.
"Everyone please treat each other with kindness and Love ❤️! We are all going through this together. Young people are not immune, thousands of people are dying around the world. Please be safe, wash your hands, stay 6 feet or more away from people and stay home."
Finally, Newman offered words of support for anyone struggling with the whole situation.
"I love you guys so much you can get a hold of me on here or Twitter if you need to talk I'm here for you. Love - D"
Newman told CNN that even after finding a hospital with tests, he was only given one after being recognized for his role in The Walking Dead.
"Preferential treatment is disgusting. The fact that our Healthcare system is turning everyone away—and then even after I got tested and have this huge bill, they still couldn't process the results."
Why Doesn't America have mass #Corona Virus Testing for Everyone? Why are Rich getting tested when most people can'… https://t.co/CMZqDJd3bm— Daniel Newmaη (@Daniel Newmaη)1585107278.0
"$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.'"
"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."
Comments on Daniel's Tweet were awash with fans wishing him a speedy recovery.
But there were also quite a few who shared his sentiments about the whole situation being mismanaged.
@DanielNewman The thing is I don't understand why USA doesn't have tests, where i'm from is small but the governmen… https://t.co/QLLm4I2IPG— Julienne Maduro⁷ (@Julienne Maduro⁷)1585107932.0
@DanielNewman You’re right! Pennsylvania is limiting the tests and the state basically has a stay at home order out… https://t.co/9eKwA32ywV— Alison (@Alison)1585110034.0
@DanielNewman Same here in the Philippines. Most of our asymptomatic politician got tested first instead of PUI's t… https://t.co/VaAT6pUo1f— Ruth (@Ruth)1585114560.0
@DanielNewman Sooooo glad you are doing better. I agree on misplaced priorities in 🇺🇸! It's ludicrous you were char… https://t.co/M5ClertyIg— Caviar Nolastname (@Caviar Nolastname)1585128294.0
Newman is definitely not the only celebrity who was given preferential treatment in this crisis.
New York-based social media influencer Arielle Charnas, known online as Something Navy, was also able to get tested due to her connections. Unlike Newman, however, Charnas' test was actually going to be processed.
Kris Jenner, of Keeping Up With The Kardashians fame, also managed to get tested after being exposed to someone who tested positive. This raised a lot of eyebrows, given that she showed no symptoms of the virus and tests are in short supply.