Actor Idris Elba, who announced Monday he had tested positive for COVID-19 despite being asymptomatic, held a video Q&A the following day to update the public and advise caution against distributing misinformation.
"Please stop sending the conspiracy-theory nonsense about black people not being able to get coronavirus or COVID-19," the African-English star of BBC America's "Luther" and of numerous other series and films said in a nearly 18-minute Twitter video. "It's dumb, it’s silly, it's very dangerous. There are so many weird conspiracy theory things going about. … If you're sending that stuff out or manifesting it, it is not the time. People need to know facts, need to understand the truth, so that they can protect themselves."
Elba, 47, who has been in Santa Fe, New Mexico, working on the upcoming Netflix movie "The Harder They Fall," had revealed a day earlier that on Friday, he learned someone with whom he had been in contact had tested positive for the coronavirus. On Tuesday, Elba said that the contact had occurred on March 4.
Without naming the person, the actor explained that, "I'm on location about to start a film and the news breaks that this person, who's also in the public eye, had tested positive. … I was about to start filming and I was around a lot of people, and quite honestly, my job made me [get a] test immediately," he said, presumably referring to a directive from production executives, which include music mogul Jay-Z and Lawrence Bender, a producer of several Quentin Tarantino films.
Elba added, "We were really lucky to [get a] test very quickly because of this shortages of tests." His wife, Sabrina Dhowre, was en route to visit him while Elba awaited test results. "I had my test in the morning and she landed in the evening. … We live together all the time so we took the calculated risk as a couple to be together" when his results came in. Dhowre, he said, was tested Tuesday and is awaiting her own results.
Elba said he was "feeling OK. I'm a little tired because [I] just didn't really sleep last night. My temperature is fine, I don't have a fever. I have asthma and so I sort of fit in the high category of most at risk. … But even my asthma is OK," he assured. "I don't feel any restriction within my breathing or my lungs. I have a little bit of a runny nose, but I don't think that's anything. I haven't been coughing too much. I generally feel OK."