The 72-year-old country singer confirmed his COVID-19 diagnosis with Fox News. Although Gatlin shared he’s “fortunate” to be feeling OK, the entertainer noted he was just four days shy of making it an entire calendar year without contracting the deadly virus when he got his first positive test result.
“What are the odds?” Gatlin reacted.
Gatlin received his second dose of Moderna on March 4. Four days later, on Monday, March 8, he learned a rapid test came back positive and a second test — this time, a PCR — on Tuesday provided the same result.
While Gatlin confirmed he’s experiencing some of the more common symptoms such as “chest pressure, cough, body aches, drainage” and feeling “tired,” he considers himself “the luckiest man on the face of the Earth” that he, for the most part, has been able to continue his normal routine.
“Folks, I feel like I have a cold, and not even a bad cold at that. I even hit a few golf balls before dinner,” Gatlin told us.
He then shared a message to those who are suffering from far greater complications brought on by the virus as well as those who have lost loved ones.
“To you who have been terribly sick or have lost friends or loved ones, my heartfelt prayers go out to you. I have a lot of character flaws and defects you can pray about if you want to. Instead, please join me in praying for our friends and neighbors who have suffered and are still suffering, and for our country,” Gatlin said.
Last April, the West Texas native spoke to Fox News about the impacts the ongoing global health crisis has on the music industry. The country and Southern gospel crooner said at the time that of the nearly 10 shows he and his brothers had scheduled, they had reissued dates for “all but one.”
“And, yes, it’s going to work a hardship but here’s the thing, my wife and I are greatly blessed,” Gatlin said.
Gatlin also previously said that despite his fame, he’s not “filthy, stinking rich” as many would think. In fact, the musician empathized with everyday people in the sense that by his estimation, his entire nest-egg could be wiped out if he doesn’t continue to perform as he operates as a small business, many of which have been decimated by the worldwide pandemic and loss of income.
“Yes, I have just sold a little publishing company. We have a little bit of savings, a little money in the bank but if we don’t go back to work within the next – if we have to delay it four or five months, it would alter my standard of living,” Gatlin explained at the time.
Then 71, Gatlin communicated how grateful he was for his health. He even shared his doctor “said I’m the healthiest 71-year-old man she has ever known…and I am. I don’t get sick.”