Sturgill Simpson shared that he not only tested positive for COVID-19, but had to fight to receive medical treatment for the virus that’s swept across multiple continents in a global pandemic.
On Saturday (April 11), Simpson posted a photo of himself wearing a face mask and lying on a hospital bed on Instagram. His story begins in late January and early February, when he and his band were touring through western Europe, the east coast of the U.S. His last show took place in Charleston, S.C. on March 10, and the cancelation of the rest of the tour shortly followed — as did a trip to the emergency room back in Nashville, where Simpson found himself on March 13 with “chest pains, fever, and pre-stroke blood pressure levels.”
“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,” he wrote.
Eventually, Simpson and his wife were able to get tested at a drive-through facility in Alabama on April 6, and on April 10, they received word from the CDC in Nashville that he had tested positive, while his wife had tested negative.
“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. “All I know is I first felt symptoms a month ago yet Im still positive and contagious and now on quarantine in the dojo until April 19th and really wishing Id taken my wife’s advice and put a bathroom in the floor plans..live and learn..”
Simpson proceeded to call out the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus 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!'” A few of his followers disagreed with his opinion on the matter, but one who did stands out from the rest: Fiona Whelan Prine, John Prine’s widow, tested positive for COVID-19 before her husband passed away following coronavirus complications on April 7.
“The way our Government has handled this is nothing short of criminal,” she wrote. “We need to start hearing from survivors to fully understand the consequences and from scientists to understand the epidemiology. I tested positive the same day John tested indeterminate. He is dead and I am lost, bewildered and slowly recovering.”
“I haven’t thought about much at all the past few days except for you and your children Fiona,” he replied. “I’m simply crushed for you and John.”
Read Simpson’s account in full below.