Dr. Rishi Desai, who became a social media sensation after delivering a blunt analysis of the “weak” U.S. response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic during a Fox News appearance this week, says he believes he has or had the infection.
He told the Bay Area News Group that he’s had a 101 fever, coughing and breathing difficulties ― and that he has been in self-isolation in his apartment for two weeks as a result.
“I’m convinced I had COVID-19,” he told the news organization.
Desai said the fever is gone and he is improving, and he has ordered a blood test for himself to check for antibodies.
“It will be important to identify people who are resistant,” he was quoted as saying. “They’re the people who will get our economy back on track.”
Desai, chief medical officer of the Osmosis website, appeared on Fox News on Wednesday night and was asked about testing by host Martha MacCallum. He shook his head “no” vigorously as MacCallum described President Donald Trump’s promise of millions of tests.
Then he compared the U.S. response with that of South Korea, which has largely contained the outbreak so far.
“Look at the cases they have. Look at the mortality they have,” he said. “It’s a trifle compared to what we’re dealing with right now because we’ve had a very weak response and they had a really strong response.”
MacCallum wrapped up the segment:
How to ensure you don't get follow-up questions on Fox, apparently. pic.twitter.com/nOUqw4ZVhO— Ben Smith (@benyt) April 2, 2020
Many on social media speculated he would not be invited back due to his blunt criticism of the U.S. government’s response to the situation and the lack of testing despite assurances from the Trump administration.
He told Bay Area News Group that he has not been approached for a return appearance but said everyone at the organization was “100 percent polite and kind and respectful from beginning to end.”
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