March 19, 2020
Idris Elba Slams Conspiracy That Black People Can't Get The Coronavirus, Calls It 'Dangerous'

Idris Elba urged fans to stop spreading the conspiracy that Black people cannot contract COVID-19. The actor went on Twitter to say how "dangerous" he believed spreading these rumors was, and gave an update on his health after testing positive for the coronavirus.

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on and spreads globally, there has been misinformation about the disease spread as well. One theory that has been going around on social media is that black people cannot catch the virus. Rapper Waka Flocka Flame recently shared these sentiments during a radio interview.

The Luther actor was one of the first high-profile celebrities to test positive for the illness and has been in self-isolation. During an 18-minute Twitter livestream, Elba wanted to offer fans an update, but the first thing he addressed was this conspiracy and said these sorts of comments have been "scaring" him.

"My people, black people, black people: Please, please understand that coronavirus… you can get it, all right? There are so many stupid, ridiculous conspiracy theories about black people not being able to get it. That's dumb, stupid."
Elba warned viewers that this is a perilous time and stressed how important it was to get the facts straight, and how irresponsible it was to spread falsehoods that could affect people of all races.

"Stop sending this stuff out," he said. "It's very dangerous for all, not just black people, but everyone."

The Dark Tower actor urged fans to stop sharing this misinformation regardless of where they live and said he is proof this theory is untrue.
"Stop sending out these stupid WhatsApp messages about black people not getting it. You're making us all look stupid...This disease does not discriminate…as a black person who has contracted the virus, it needs to be said."
Elba said he was "generally feeling OK" and the only symptom he had shown so far was a runny nose, but revealed he is a longtime asthma sufferer which puts him at high risk of the respiratory disease. He explained he was tested after learning he came in contact with an infected person on March 04 and immediately quarantined himself. The actor was set to begin filming and wanted to get tested before exposing all the people on the set.
His wife, Sabrina Dhowre Elba, was in the background during the livestream. He said she flew to be by his side as soon as he had self-quarantined. She has been tested for the virus and the couple are awaiting results.