Idris Elba has responded to conspiracy theories circulating on social media that he was ''paid off'' to falsely claim that he had contracted the coronavirus.
The British actor first announced that he had tested positive in a statement made on Twitter on March 16th. Elba posted a short face-to-camera video, which he captioned: "This morning I tested positive for Covid 19. I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing No panic."Elba first announced he had the virus in this video:
However, a number of Twitter users then seemed to suggest in the comments that Elba (along with other celebrities) had been paid to say he had caught the virus.
Responding to these claims in an Instagram Live video, Elba stated: "This idea that someone like myself is gonna be paid to say I’ve got coronavirus? That's absolute bulls**t."
He continued: "Such stupidness. People wanna spread that as if it's news. That's stupid. It's the quickest way to get people sick because there's no benefit to me and Sabrina sitting here saying we've got it if we ain't got it. I don't even understand the logic of that."
Elba also responded to people who have criticized him (and other celebrities) for being rich enough to afford to have themselves tested, stating: "I think the debate about rich and poor and who’s getting it and who’s not, I think, is not a healthy debate. It’s like, I got a test but I also got Covid. Does that make me preferential? I don’t understand that."
At the time of writing, there have now been 425,493 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across 114 countries worldwide, and a total of 18,963 deaths, according to John Hopkins University.
We are urging all of our readers to adhere to the advice from their respective governments and medical bodies, and practice social distancing and self-isolation where required. Together, we will beat this.