Superstar singer Pink joined a growing group of celebrities, athletes, and world leaders who revealed that they contracted COVID-19. Two weeks ago, she and 3-year-old son Jameson showed symptoms of the disease. After consulting with healthcare professionals, the two were able to get a test. Pink tested positive for coronavirus.
She posted their experience on Instagram, stating “Just a few days ago we were re-tested and are now thankfully negative.” Pink added that she was donating a substantial amount to two different COVID-19 emergency funds.
“It is an absolute travesty and failure of our government to not make testing more widely accessible,” she said. “This illness is serious and real. People need to know that the illness affects the young and old, healthy and unhealthy, rich and poor, and we must make testing free and more widely accessible to protect our children, our families, our friends and our communities.”
She added, “In an effort to support the healthcare professionals who are battling on the frontlines every day, I am donating $500,000 to the Temple University Hospital Emergency Fund in Philadelphia in honor of my mother, Judy Moore, who worked there for 18 years in the Cardiomyopathy and Heart Transplant Center. Additionally, I am donating $500,000 to the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund.”
Testing for coronavirus is a major concern, not just for the United States, but across the world. The World Health Organization strongly urges world governments to conduct mass testing to combat the spread of COVID-19, along with contact tracing, widespread disinfection, lockdown and quarantine measures, social distancing, and hand hygiene.
With numbers of coronavirus patients spiking in the United States, there have been reports of challenges in getting tested, even for highly vulnerable healthcare professionals, who are on the front lines of the battle against the disease. Testing is particularly difficult in hard-hit areas such as New York City and Los Angeles.
On March 12, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said “The system is not really geared to what we need right now. That is a failing. Let’s admit it. The idea of anybody getting it easily the way people in other countries are doing it, we’re not set up for that. Do I think we should be? Yes. But we’re not.”
The United States is ramping up testing, but still falls behind other countries in the number of people that have been tested for the disease. The White House reported on March 31 that more than 1.1 million tests have been done in the U.S., indicating that one in 297 people are getting tested.
By comparison, South Korea, which has maintained a remarkable record in containing the coronavirus, had done 410,564 tests as of the same day. South Korea, however, has a smaller population of 51 million people. This means that they are testing a larger proportion of the population, or that one in every 124 people are tested for COVID-19.
Prior to Pink, a number of other celebrities have tested positive for the virus, including Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Idris Elba, and CNN anchors Chris Cuomo and Brooke Baldwin. Various world leaders have been infected as well, including United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, United States Senator Rand Paul, Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, and Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri. Various stars have also used their substantial platforms to encourage people to take extra measures against contracting COVID-19.
Pink expressed her utmost appreciation for the people working on the front lines. “THANK YOU to all of our healthcare professionals and everyone in the world who are working so hard to protect our loved ones. You are our heroes!” she wrote. She also urged the majority of the population to do their part to prevent the spread of the disease. “These next two weeks are crucial: please stay home.”