American actor Daniel Dae Kim announced on Thursday that he has tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Kim — who is known for his roles on Hawaii Five-0 and Lost — shared the news in a 10-minute video posted to his Instagram. He had been filming the series New Amsterdam in New York City for the past several weeks before the show halted production because of the threat of the virus. In a darkly ironic twist, he was playing a doctor working to respond to a flu pandemic.
Kim, 51, said he began feeling ill while returning home on a flight to Hawaii, and later began to experience chest tightness, body aches and a fever. He said he self-isolated since returning, leaving only to go to a drive-through coronavirus testing facility in Honolulu.
The actor explained that while he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and has experienced symptoms, he has not needed to go to the hospital and has started to feel better. His family has all tested negative for the virus.
“Please, please stop the prejudice and senseless violence against Asian people,” he said. “Randomly beating elderly, sometimes homeless Asian Americans is cowardly, heartbreaking and it’s inexcusable.” Racist attacks against Asian people have been reported in Los Angeles, New York and other cities around the world.
Kim, who was born in South Korea but raised in the U.S., also subtly addressed President Donald Trump‘s decision to refer to COVID-19 as “the Chinese virus,” which many have decried as racist. An image of the President’s prepared remarks on Thursday show the word “corona” crossed out and replaced with “Chinese.”
“Yes, I’m Asian. And yes, I have coronavirus. But I did not get it from China, I got it in America. In New York City,” Kim said in the Instagram video. “Despite what certain political leaders want to call it, I don’t consider the place where it’s from as important as the people who are sick and dying.”
“If I did, I would call this thing the ‘New York virus,’ but that would be silly, right?” he continued.
Stars including Tom Hanks and Idris Elba have also announced they contracted the virus. As of Thursday evening ET, there are at least 242,191 confirmed cases and at least 9,843 deaths from the virus around the world, according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University.
“I’m grateful to be alive and healthy,” Kim said, thanking his friends, family and fans for their support. “It gives me hope that through our collective efforts we can beat this thing and flatten the curve.”
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