American actor Daniel Dae Kim, known for his role as Jin Soo-Kwon in Lost, has just revealed on Instagram that he tested positive for COVID-19, which he had contracted while filming the series New Amsterdam in New York City. Ironically, he plays the role of a doctor tending to patients in a hospital amid a flu pandemic.
In the video, the 51-year-old Hawaii-based actor shared that he had started to feel strange symptoms like scratchiness in his throat, which eventually led to body aches, chest tightness, and a fever. He’s been in self-quarantine ever since, save for the day he went to have himself checked at a drive-through testing facility. Although he admits that he is “not 100%” better, he says he's “pretty close.”
Aside from sharing his COVID-19 journey and how others can stay safe in this time of crisis, Daniel also touched upon a much buzzed-about topic in the United States.
“Please, please stop the prejudice and senseless violence against Asian people. Randomly beating elderly, sometimes homeless Asian Americans is cowardly, heartbreaking and it’s inexcusable,” he says. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States last January, hate crimes due to xenophobia and racism have been rampant.
“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,” he continues. Daniel was born in South Korea but moved to the United States when he was just a year old.
“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?”
To give context to his aforementioned statement, U.S. President Donald Trump has recently made headlines by referring to the virus, which originated from China, as the “Chinese Virus.” He also said, “It’s not racist at all.”
After addressing the issue, Daniel goes on to spread a positive message and expresses his gratitude to the people in his life, “Anyway, the name-calling gets us nowhere. What matters most is how best to take care of ourselves and one another.
“I’m reminded of how lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life. My family, my friends, my colleagues, my fans—all of you. And I guess it’s nice to be mentioned in the same breath as Tom Hanks and Idris Elba, two of my favorite actors. I guess that makes for pretty good company,” he laughs.
“And finally, I’m grateful to be alive and healthy. It gives me hope that through our collective efforts we can beat this thing and flatten the curve.”
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