Here Are the Most Prominent Figures With Coronavirus So Far
From Oscar winner Tom Hanks to NBA player Rudy Gobert, these celebrities have tested posted for coronavirus.
On the evening of Wednesday, Mar. 11, there was a noticeable shift in the American public's understanding of the coronavirus pandemic. The NBA announced that they would be suspending the 2019-2020 season due to a player with coronavirus and then news broke that two of Hollywood's most beloved stars tested positive for coronavirus as well. As the virus continues to spread, here are the prominent figures and celebrities who have coronavirus thus far.
As is often the case in American culture, major news stories don't feel real until they affect someone we personally know. And while very few people actually know Tom Hanks, he is so charming and relatable that he kind of feels like someone close to us—which is why it was such a gut punch when Hanks tweeted on Mar. 11 that he and his wife had tested positive for coronavirus.
In Hanks' tweet, he said he and his wife, Rita Wilson, had been feeling a bit under the weather while making a movie in Australia. But the actors remained positive.
"Hello, folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the coronavirus, and were found to be positive," he wrote. "Well, now. What to do next? The medical officials have protocols that must be followed. We Hanks' will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires. Not much more to it than a one-day-at-a-time approach, no? We'll keep the world posted and updated. Take care of yourselves!"
Utah Jazz forward Rudy Gobert is the NBA player who tested positive for COVID-19, leading to the NBA's stunning suspension of this season until coronavirus concerns abate.
Gobert has received a lot of negative attention for a video clip that went viral after his diagnosis in which the French-born basketball player seemingly mocked the coronavirus threat by touching every mic and recording device in front of him at a press conference.
The day after Gobert's results were announced, we learned that fellow Utah Jazz player Donovan Mitchell tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, Mar. 12. ESPN's Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that "Jazz players privately say that Rudy Gobert had been careless in the locker room, touching other players and their belongings."
Rick Cotton is the head of the Port Authority for New York and New Jersey, which oversees all major transportation hubs in the two highly populated Eastern seaboard states. Millions of people come through facilities managed by the Port Authority each day, so it's perhaps not a coincidence that the man at the helm of it was susceptible to COVID-19.
On Mar. 9, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed at a news conference that Cotton "has been at the airports, obviously, when many people were coming back with the virus," suggesting that his work on behalf of the authority at Kennedy International Airport may be to blame for his contracting coronavrius.
Italian professional soccer player Daniele Rugani was also diagnosed with COVID-19, news of which broke on Mar. 12. The Juventus defender's diagnosis in part led to the Italian soccer league Serie A to be suspended for a time. "You have read the news and that's why I want to reassure all those who are worrying about me, I'm fine," Rugani tweeted. "I urge everyone to respect the rules, because this virus makes no distinctions! Let's do it for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for those around us #thankyou"
On Mar. 11, we learned that British Health Minister Nadine Dorries, who became famous worldwide for appearing on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, also has coronavirus. She tweeted, "Keep safe and keep washing those hands, everyone," noting she's concerned for her 84-year-old mother who lives with her.
Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri and two other cabinet members in Iran have come down with coronavirus. The news came on Mar. 11 amid speculation about the health of Jahangiri, who had not been seen in images of recent top-level meetings.
Italian medical professional Roberto Stella (pictured here) is likely the most prominent individual to have died from coronavirus. Stella died on Mar. 11 in Como, Italy, where the 67-year-old president of the Medical Guild of Varese was hospitalized for respiratory failure due to coronavirus.