Joe Rogan is paying a concierge doctor in Los Angeles to test guests coming on his podcast for the coronavirus. Chris D'Elia revealed during an interview with BUILD Series Thursday that Rogan had him tested for COVID-19 this week ahead of doing the show.
"I realized I haven't touched anybody except for my family, that I live with, and that's it. I went to do Joe Rogan's podcast [Wednesday] and said to him, I texted him, 'Are we still doing this? Should we do this?' And he's like, 'Ya, I have a doctor here he's going to test you first,'" D'Elia shared.
The comedian, who is promoting his Netflix comedy special Chris D'Elia: No Pain, was tested on-site before appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience. The result was immediate: He tested negative.
When asked how Rogan is getting COVID-19 tests, D'Elia stated, "Because Joe's paying for them, that's why."
"Joe is basically Bruce Wayne," D'Elia added.
"Unreal," BUILD Studio's Ricky Camilleri replied. "Unreal. I don't want to let my blood pressure go off the chart while I'm doing an interview with you, but that's wild to me."
"I mean, there's plenty of tests," D'Elia said. "There's plenty of doctors, there's plenty of tests out there. I just think that it's tough for the actual public to get, it sucks. It sucks."
If you think you have COVID-19, live in Los Angeles and have $299 to spare then you can get tested privately, too.
According to VICE, Rogan is having Dr. Abe Malkin administer tests. Dr. Malkin is part of Concierge MD LA, which offers the in-home service. A recent video showed Rogan and his podcast guest, Bryan Callen, getting tested by Dr. Malkin.
@bryancallen & @joerogan getting tested for Covid-19 using the Rapid Test by $AYTU Joe can you please give us a RT to spread news about this amazing private sector company and help save lives! AYTU Bioscience has reliable tests that are readily available https://t.co/dl9Yl8aeOR pic.twitter.com/nbmaOpaWLX
— Ryan Swaggart (@ryan_swaggart) April 15, 2020
The company offers two testing options for COVID-19: a nasal swab or antibody test. Dr. Malkin told VICE his company began offering nasal swab testing several weeks ago, which was hard due to the shortage of protective equipment and swabs. Now, he is mostly administering the antibody test, which isn't approved by the FDA. Either option will cost $299 according to the Concierge MD LA website.
"There's about 70 companies producing antibody tests, and only one of them is FDA approved, that's Cellex. I don't know how the hell they got that contract that they got FDA approval, but it's impossible to get those tests," Dr. Malkin said. "I give everyone a disclaimer, it's not FDA approved, you can't use this for diagnosis, it's more for peace of mind, for epidemiologic data. But if they need a definitive diagnosis, they have to get a nasal swab."
Dr. Malkin added, "I've tested about 300 [people] in the last week, about 5% of asymptomatic people turn up positive on antibody testing, and about 10 to 20% of symptomatic people have showed up positive on antibody testing. And everyone that was a known positive, has shown up positive on antibody testing."
The concierge service might explain how so many celebrities and wealthy people seem to be getting access to COVID-19 tests.
For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC and WHO’s resource guides.
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