Howie Mandel Wears Hazmat Suit to America's Got Talent Taping Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
The AGT judge was also seen wearing a gas mask
On Tuesday, the 64-year-old comedian arrived to the set of America’s Got Talent in Pasadena, California, wearing a hazmat suit and a gas mask.
He accessorized his protective gear with a pair of orange gloves and carried a baseball cap in his hands.
Mandel joked about wearing a hazmat suit amid the ongoing health epidemic on his Instagram on Sunday, sharing a photo of what appeared to be two people in decontamination suits loading a covered stretcher into an ambulance.
“Me heading to work #agt,” he captioned the picture.
He also shared a shot of himself speaking with a person wearing a hazmat suit last week, writing in its caption, “My wife’s @tmandel new lingerie #sexy.”
A known germaphobe, Mandel has been taking extra precautions against the coronavirus — officially known as COVID-2019 — as it continues to spread across the United States.
When asked about the ongoing outbreak, Mandel recently told PEOPLE in a statement, “I don’t shake hands, not even fist bumping. I’ve taken it to another level.”
On Monday, a top official for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans that “many will become sick” from the virus.
“It’s fair to say that as the trajectory of the outbreak continues, many people in the United States, will at some point in time, either this year or next, be exposed to this virus. And there’s a good chance that many will become sick,” said Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, in a press briefing.
Messonnier said that COVID-19 is “highly contagious” and “there’s essentially no immunity against this virus in the population because it’s a new virus.”
While the disease will be mild for the majority of people — with symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and a fever — older adults and those with compromised immune systems are at the highest risk for developing a severe respiratory infection that can lead to death, she said.
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As a response, popular TV shows such as Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune have stopped filming with a studio audience over coronavirus concerns. CNN has also announced that it will not include a live audience in its upcoming Democratic presidential debate in Phoenix on March 15.
Miley Cyrus, Madonna, BTS, Green Day and Pearl Jam have all canceled concerts amid the pandemic, while music festivals Coachella and Stagecoach have been postponed in consideration to the public’s health.
As of Tuesday, there are 808 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. The majority of U.S. cases are in Washington state, California and New York — and all three have declared a state of emergency to redirect funding.