Sturgill Simpson Tests Positive for Coronavirus One Month After First Showing Symptoms
Sturgill Simpson detailed the difficult journey to obtaining a test after being denied one when he first showed symptoms
Sturgill Simpson has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
On Saturday, the country music star revealed that nearly one month after first exhibiting symptoms for the virus, he was finally able to obtain a test and was told he tested positive.
In a lengthy post on Instagram, Simpson detailed his symptoms and how difficult it was for him to get tested. He first gave his fans some context, telling them that he had been on tour in western Europe for two weeks in late January and into early February, before playing a number of shows in the U.S. on the east coast.
“They pulled the plug on our tour March 12 and I returned home. This photo was taken at 9am on March 13th when my wife took me to our local hospital ER due to chest pains, fever, and pre-stroke blood pressure levels,” the Kentucky native wrote alongside a selfie he took in a hospital bed.
“I spent an hour listening to a (highly condescending) Doctor refuse to test me because I ‘did not fit testing criteria’ and tell me why it was impossible that I had contracted the virus due to its extreme rarity and that it was not in western Europe yet during that same period (which we now know is incorrect) even though I was told by two nurses that I was the first person their hospital had walk in requesting to be tested,” Simpson explained.
According to the Grammy winner, nearly one month later, on April 6, he and his wife were finally both able to get tested after locating a “free drive-thru testing facility outside a National Guard depot.”
“Yesterday on Friday April 10th, after almost one month without any symptoms, I received a call from the Nashville CDC stating that my test resulted in a positive detection for Covid-19. My wife (who has been by my side since Europe) tested negative,” Simpson said.
“I should also add that the CDC nurse I spoke to yesterday told me that it reacts differently in a case by case basis and the White House briefings and the information they are providing is basically pure speculation causing fear and that the only thing anybody knows is that we don’t really know much yet,” he continued.
The Sound and Fury artist added, “All I know is I first felt symptoms a month ago yet I’m still positive and contagious and now on quarantine in the dojo until April 19th and really wishing I’d taken my wife’s advice and put a bathroom in the floor plans..live and learn.”
Simpson then criticized President Donald Trump and the U.S. government’s response to the ongoing crisis. “At least our Government appointed task force headed by a man who does not believe in science is against mass testing and we now have a second task force in the works to ‘open America back up for business’!” he wrote.
The government-created testing kits were one of the most scrutinized parts of the Trump administration’s response. Early kits by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had manufacturing flaws, and other bureaucratic obstacles further delayed the implementation of widespread testing to track the number of cases even as the virus spread in February and March.
Trump has since insisted those testing issues were overcome beginning in late March and in some states, such as New York, tens of thousands of people are being tested daily. But the state response has also varied. Trump recently suggested criticism of testing should be focused on local government decisions — not him.
Just last week, Simpson mourned the loss of his friend and fellow country singer John Prine, who died from complications related to COVID-19.
“There are sometimes people in this life that you meet, seldom and few and far between it would seem, whose souls are so good and pure and beautiful that when they leave it seems if only for a brief while that everything else good and pure and beautiful in this world just left along with them,” he wrote alongside a photo of the pair on a motorcycle. “It blows you apart leaving everyone to see you broken. But then you come out of the woods and the funk to see the signs of Spring all around you and remember the joy and love they put into the world by always giving so much of themselves and you suddenly see them everywhere.”
“There is so much I never said only because I didn’t want to bother you with it. After all you never asked to be ‘John Prine.’ There is so much I’ll never get to say now. You reminded me so much of my Grandfather it hurt sometimes. I never told you that,” Simpson added. “I will miss the tours.. I will miss our lunches.. I will miss you listening to me bitch and complain about all the things you understood all too well and making me feel better sometimes by just sitting there saying nothing.
The singer concluded, “I will miss catching flies in mid-air with my hand just to make you laugh.. I will miss showing up to the office and knowing Id just missed you there by finding my drums upside down.. I will miss your corny ass jokes. I will miss you. Every day. So long old man. You will always be loved.”
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.