In a 10-minute video published to Instagram, the actor, known for his roles in “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-0,” said that he was diagnosed after flying home to Hawaii because filming on his “New Amsterdam” television series had stopped due to the outbreak.
Kim said he’d been self-quarantined since last Sunday, after experiencing a scratchy throat on his flight back from New York, and received his diagnosis on Wednesday. He noted that he’d been asymptomatic prior to the plane trip, but once home, his symptoms worsened to include chest tightness, aches and a fever.
He was able to receive testing via a drive-thru facility. The actor said the experience with the nose-and-mouth swab was uncomfortable but worth it. He was not hospitalized and treated his symptoms with rest, liquids and medication. By Thursday, he said he was feeling close to fully recovered.
Kim implored teenagers and millennials who have dismissed the seriousness of the outbreak to consider the health of others. He referred to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to socially distance and self-isolate yourself, avoid touching your face and do frequent hand-washing.
“And one last very important thing,” Kim said. “Please, please stop the prejudice and senseless violence against Asian people.”
Highlighting the spike in hate crimes and discrimination against people of Asian descent, and how it’s been amplified by leaders including President Donald Trump, the actor reasoned with those focusing on the coronavirus’s origin to consider what purpose the blame game serves.
“Randomly beating elderly, sometimes homeless Asian Americans is cowardly, heartbreaking and inexcusable. 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.
“And despite what some 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,” he added.
“If I did, I would call this thing the New York virus, but that would be silly. The point is, the name-calling gets us nowhere. What matters is how best to take care of ourselves and one another.”
Kim also praised health care workers, grocery store employees and others whose jobs put them at risk of exposure to the virus and apologized to anyone he may have been in contact with during his incubation period.
He is the latest in a string of celebrities to announce they were diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Kim was preceded by Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, “Game of Thrones” star Kristofer Hivju, Idris Elba and numerous NBA stars.
Keep up with the latest updates on the coronavirus at our live blog.