No, this wasn’t a picture from Ghostbusters. Howie Mandel, 64, was pictured in full disease-busting gear — hazmat suit and gas mask — as he strolled up to the set of America’s Got Talent on March 10. While Howie’s outfit may look excessive next to the many other celebrities simply wearing facemasks amid coronavirus fears, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specifically “does not recommend” that unaffected people wear facemasks. Rather, facemasks are recommended for people who already tested positive for COVID-19, or are showing symptons of the respiratory disease (i.e. a dry cough).
Amid the coronavirus scare, Howie’s daughter Jackelyn Schultz, 36, poked fun at her fearful dad! The video producer shared a photo of the AGT judge, who showed off his new loot on March 7: a roll of toilet paper and a helmet. Apparently, Howie said “They ran out of face masks and gloves but I got one roll of toilet paper and a helmet,” according to Jackelyn’s caption. His amused daughter added, “My dad is definitely prepared but I don’t know exactly what for 🤷♀️.” Howie was all for the jokes; the very next day, he shared a photo of a quarantined person being lifted into an ambulance. “Me heading to work #agt,” Howie captioned the picture. He wasn’t kidding!
Howie has been outspoken about his struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which manifests in many forms: for the talent competition judge, it’s his debilitating fear of germs and contamination. He’s most famous for refusing to shake other people’s hands, but Howie isn’t alone in his decision to suit up. Supermodel Naomi Campbell, 49, was spotted wearing a hazmat suit at an airport in Los Angeles on March 10, and comedian Charlie Quaintance rocked a science fiction-esque hazmat suit at Milwaukee’s airport on March 7.
A growing number of celebrities aren’t taking risks as the COVID-19 death toll grows: more than 3,400 people have passed away worldwide from the diseased caused by the new strain of coronavirus. Performers like Miley Cyrus, Lil Nas X, Madonna and BTS have pulled the plug on concerts, and in an especially shocking decision, Goldenvoice has pushed Hollywood’s most beloved music festival — Coachella — from April to October. Likewise, South by Southwest and Ultra Music Festival have also been canceled. At least Howie is still reporting to the office!