Idris Elba wants to clear up some misconceptions about the coronavirus.
On Monday, the British actor revealed via Twitter that he had tested positive for COVID-19. He let his followers know he had been isolated since learning of his possible exposure and implored them to “stay home people and be pragmatic.” Yesterday, he went live on Periscope to give an update on his condition and dispel some rumors about coronavirus.
The actor revealed that he is still asymptomatic after testing positive for coronavirus last Friday, but has been checking his fever twice a day. His wife, Sabrina Dhowre, recently secured a coronavirus test as well.
“At one point, we’re sort of like, ‘Our lives are over. This is it. This is how we kick it,’” Elba said. “But at the same time, realizing that the more we look at coronavirus, we realize that it is a virus just like many others that the human race has survived through—this one being new and dangerous, but at the same time… nobody knows too much about this virus, so we felt a lot more optimistic that more people were talking about it and what their experiences are.”
Because there is still relatively little information about coronavirus, Elba felt compelled to clear up some dangerous misconceptions about it—namely, that Black people are immune to the virus.
“Something that’s sort of scaring me when I read comments and see some of the reactions is, my people—Black people—Black people, please, please understand that coronavirus, you can get it,” Elba said. “There are so many stupid, ridiculous conspiracy theories about Black people not being able to get it. That’s dumb, stupid. Alright? That is the quickest way to get more Black people killed.”
In a recent interview with Real 92.3 LA, rapper Waka Flocka Flame insisted that Black people can’t get coronavirus. “It’s fake. Minorities can’t catch it,” he said. When pressed on the issue, Wake continued, “Name one, though. We all descended from the same persons. Now, did we catch it?”
Elba sought to squash that line of thinking in his video. “This disease does not discriminate,” the actor continued. “As a Black person who has contracted the virus, it needs to be said. Stop sending that shit out. It’s dumb, it’s silly, and it’s gonna get more people sick.”
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