A day after revealing he tested positive for the deadly disease, the 47-year-old English actor posted videos condemning some of the coronavirus myths he's read online—specifically, the "stupid" claims that black people cannot be infected.
"Thank you to everyone that's shown a lot of support ... Something that's sort of scaring me when I read the comments and see some of the reactions is ... My people, black people, black people: Please, please understand that coronavirus ... you can get it, all right?" he said in a video. "There are so many stupid, ridiculous conspiracy theories about black people not being able to get it. That’s dumb, stupid."
He continued: "That is the quickest way to get more black people killed. And I'm talking about, you know, the whole world. Wherever we are, please understand that you can get it. Stop sending out these stupid What's App messages about black people not getting it ... You're making us all look stupid. Just know you have to be as vigilant as every other race. This disease does not discriminate ... As a black person who has contracted the virus, it needs to be said."
Elba went on to say that he is still asymptomatic, and said he got tested for the disease after learning he had come into contact with someone who was infected; however, he doesn't reveal a name.
"On Friday, last week, I was told that someone that I had been in contact with had tested positive," he said. "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, so it was definitely something I had to ... quite honestly, my job made me test immediately. I had to test any way, because it meant putting a lot of people at risk if I had been exposed."
Earlier this month, Elba was photographed at a London charity event with Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Shortly after the event, it was reported that Sophie Trudeau had tested positive for COVID-19.
"It’s been a mad 24 hours, as you can probably guess," Elba said in a video. "And yesterday was good and bad. It was bad because, obviously, I tested positive, but it was also good because I think it opened up a lot of conversation around it. I think it made it more real for some people—definitely made it more real for me and my family."