Arielle Charnas denies accusations of faking a coronavirus diagnosis, and also wants to set the record straight after coming under fire over both her family's access to tests and decision to flee New York City despite statewide stay-at-home orders issued due to the pandemic.
On March 18, the 32-year-old influencer and married mother of two announced on Instagram that she learned that morning that she "tested positive for COVID-19." She acknowledged how "lucky" she was to be able to "have had that access" to a test. There is a shortage of them in the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued strict criteria for medical providers to allow a patient to be given one. However, some affluent people, such as NBA players, have been able to obtain tests, namely from private labs.
Charnas lives with her family in New York City, which has the largest number of people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the United States. Soon after revealing her diagnosis, she posted a photo of herself stretching and smiling in front of a country house in the Hamptons, writing, "Fresh air." Since then, a slew of Instagram users have mostly criticized her over her allegedly privileged access to COVID-19 tests and choice to flee Manhattan with her family instead of self-isolating at their primary home.
"I am not writing this to make excuses and I am not searching for validation; I want to share the truth behind my story and above all else, express my sincerest remorse: I apologize to anyone that I unintentionally harmed in the course of my decision making," Charnas wrote on Instagram on Thursday. "For most of us, March 11 marked the beginning of what would become our painful new normal- headline after headline made the situation more frightening. At that point, I was experiencing the same fear, panic and worry the entire country has been feeling ever since."
"This month, the critics' voices have been very loud, hurtful and largely misinformed," she said. "I've been accused of falsifying my own test results which is unequivocally untrue. I've also been receiving death threats against my entire family including my two young daughters. At this point, all I can do from here is tell you how I came to reach the decisions that are very validly being questions—decisions that were often made behind the curtain of social media—and why I made them in the best interest of my family and my community."