While the general public and people are waiting for the tests for COVID-19, NBA players are getting easy access to tests which prompted Doctors and patients to question if NBA teams are they are getting special treatment.
Over a week ago, just moments before the tip-off against Oklahoma City Thunder the Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert became the first NBA player to be tested positive with COVID-19 forcing the association to suspend the season and prompting teams to run tests for their players' safety.
Entire NBA Teams are getting tested
With 13,000 people diagnosed with coronavirus in the United States, "The Big Apple" New York City is one of the states who suffered most because of the virus with more than a thousand of cases and 22 deaths in the state prompting Brooklyn Nets to run a series of tests for their players wherein three Nets players along with Kevin Durant tested positive with COVID-19 making the All-star the 7th NBA player in the league to be tested positive with the virus.
As the number of persons showing symptoms continues to rise, sick patients were unable to receive tests because of the testing kits shortage.
But as of Wednesday, a league source says that at least eight NBA teams had been tested for COVID-19 wherein players and other staff members are included in the series of tests.
NY Mayor calls out teams for getting tested shortage in testing kits
On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted and called out the contrast wherein four Brooklyn Nets players tested positive with COVID-19 as he pointed out that an entire NBA team should not be tested for there are other critically ill patients that should be the priority.
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. Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick. https://t.co/7uQlL3zc7Z — Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 17, 2020
With no access to test kits for COVID-19, many doctors are wondering how the NBA and its teams are getting access to those test kits for their entire organization. Former NFL team doctor and a current private practitioner Dr. David Chao is curious about how the NBA got those test kits and thinks it's chaos for there are no current firm rules about the test access.
Dr. Chao's associate, Team USA physician and San Diego Legion team doctor Dr. Rebeccah Rodriguez and also a private practitioner for Oasis MD said that San Diego-based practice has only been able to obtain five tests which are a very few numbers to support her rugby team and her practice.
Saddened with the current scenario, Dr. Rodriguez suggested that even professional athletes should be in the same screening place along with average people to show equality and to prioritize those who tested positive on the CDC questionnaire and those high-risk groups.
NBA responds to comments about getting tested
Now wanting to give any further comments on their testing process, The Brooklyn Nets mentioned that they used a private company to do the testing of their players and staff while in the official statement of Oklahoma City Thunder they recognized the stress on the state of Oklahoma's medical system and they clarified that they did not use the state resources and they elected a private company to do the testing of their personnel.
A league source says that NBA is not involved in arranging players and teams to be tested in private facilities when asked about the issue and the source mentioned it is up to the team organization to arrange the matter.
In an interview with ESPN Wednesday evening, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver clarified the NBA's standpoint about the controversy. He mentioned that he understands different reactions that some people are having and especially Mayor de Blasio.
He also said that it is very unfortunate for we are at this position and as a society testing comes as a triage. But he cleared that from the NBA standpoint, he was just following directives and it is Oklahoma public health official who required the players testing and quarantine same with the case of Toronto Raptors who were required by their Public Officials.
Related article: Kevin Durant Becomes 7th NBA Player to Contract COVID-19