New York, March 18: Bill de Blasio said "tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick" as the New York City mayor criticised the Brooklyn Nets amid the coronavirus pandemic.
De Blasio took to social media after the Nets announced four players tested positive for COVID-19, including injured superstar Kevin Durant.
Durant's positive test comes after Utah Jazz pair Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell contracted the virus, which continues to disrupt sport around the globe, with the NBA on hiatus.
De Blasio questioned the Nets as the world struggles to contain coronavirus, with at least 7,900 deaths.
"We wish them [Nets] a speedy recovery," De Blasio wrote in a tweet.
"But, with all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested.
"Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick."
We wish them a speedy recovery. But, with all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested.
Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick. https://t.co/7uQlL3zc7Z— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) March 17, 2020
In response to testing criticism, NBA spokesperson Mike Bass told ESPN: "Public health authorities and team doctors have been concerned that, given NBA players' direct contact with each other and close interactions with the general public, in addition to their frequent travel, they could accelerate the spread of the virus.
"Following two players testing positive last week, others were tested and five additional players tested positive.
"Hopefully, by these players choosing to make their test results public, they have drawn attention to the critical need for young people to follow CDC recommendations in order to protect others, particularly those with underlying health conditions and the elderly."