In a vacuum, this is totally fine, the question at the top of all of our minds right now is if we have coronavirus, and having knowledge is better than no knowledge.
But with access to testing for Americans so limited at this point that it’s a total joke that we’re constantly told by the president we can get tested whenever we want, don’t worry about it, this crisis has laid bare the people who actually can access tests and who can’t. Basically, rich and famous people can get tested, even if they aren’t sick, while the rest of us have to get whatever scraps are floating around.
The common explanation here is that the spate of tests around the NBA, like that done by the Nets, has come from teams buying tests from private companies:
Sources: Brooklyn tested the team upon returning from San Francisco and results came back today. Nets paid out of pocket to a private company to conduct tests. One player awoke with some aches today; rest have experienced no symptoms.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 17, 2020
I’m not sure this is an adequate explanation, however. It tells us there is a private sector workaround for those connected — but what about the thousands of people who are sick and desperate to be tested? Why exactly can’t the unnamed private company(s), you know, make tests available to all but the best-known among us in a public health crisis?
New York City mayor Bill De Blasio, bracing for a tidal wave of projected cases in his city, diplomatically let his frustration loose over the Nets’ positive tests on Tuesday.
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.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 17, 2020
Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick. https://t.co/7uQlL3zc7Z
Gotta say, I agree with him. Again, I understand the impulse by NBA teams to look out for their own. Now, they need to help look out for their fanbase and communities, too, by helping coronavirus tests get out to those who truly need them.
More news for Wednesday:
- Why the NBA has access to tests: I’m not the only one mad about this situation, as Ricky O’Donnell recounts the situation at SBNation.com, but he also offers useful context for why this is happening.
- NBA credit line nearly doubles: As the league tries to figure out what to do, Adrian Wojnarowski reported in ESPN that the league has nearly doubled their credit line to try and stay afloat. A Tuesday conference call reportedly led to some grim forecasts about timelines for the league to get back in action, so the implication is teams may need a lot of money to weather this stretch.
- Randolph on Spanish quarantine: Remember Anthony Randolph? The former NBA player, now playing in Spain for Real Madrid, talked about the quarantine in Spain on The Undefeated. I didn’t realize the player who started the Spanish sports shutdown was a former Clipper, Trey Thompkins, who plays for Real Madrid with Randolph.
- Oral history on Morris twins at Kansas: The Morrises haven’t been in Los Angeles for long, but this oral history on their stint together at Kansas in The Athletic is very entertaining.
Today’s question: What have you been watching lately in lieu of sports? Let’s get some recommendations going in the comments.