Upon learning that four Brooklyn Nets players tested positive Tuesday for the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized the process that allowed the entire team to get tested while other people are in the dark about whether they’ve been infected.
“We wish them a speedy recovery,” de Blasio tweeted. “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.”
Newsday reported that all Nets players were tested Saturday and received the results Tuesday. The team reportedly hired a private company to conduct the testing.
In response to the criticism about testing, NBA spokesman Mike Bass told ESPN that teams have been worried about their players.
"Public health authorities and team doctors have been concerned that, given NBA players' direct contact with each other and close interactions with the general public, in addition to their frequent travel, they could accelerate the spread of the virus," he said. "Following two players testing positive last week, others were tested and five additional players tested positive.
"Hopefully, by these players choosing to make their test results public, they have drawn attention to the critical need for young people to follow CDC (Centers for Disease Contrrol and Prevention) recommendations in order to protect others, particularly those with underlying health conditions and the elderly."
The NBA suspended its season March 11 after Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. In addition to the four Nets players, Gobert's teammate Donovan Mitchell and Pistons power forward Christian Wood have also been diagnosed with the virus.