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Daniel Dae Kim addresses xenophobia after testing positive for coronavirus

Daniel Dae Kim posted a video on Instagram on Thursday to talk about the new coronavirus. (Instagram)
Daniel Dae Kim posted a video on Instagram on Thursday to talk about the new coronavirus. (Instagram)

Korean American actor Daniel Dae Kim, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, spoke on social media about his coronavirus testing experience and xenophobia.

On Friday, Kim posted a 10-minute video on Instagram announcing that he had tested positive and spoke about violence toward Asians stemming from xenophobia. He had also tweeted on Monday against ongoing acts of racism in the US.

Kim, known for his roles as Kwon Jin-soo in “Lost” and Dr. Jackson Han in “The Good Doctor,” said he suspects he was infected while shooting the NBC drama series “New Amsterdam” in New York City. Coincidentally, Kim plays the role of a doctor fighting a flu pandemic. When shooting was canceled as the coronavirus spread, he returned home to Hawaii, where he tested positive at a drive-thru testing center.

“With the help of medication, liquids and bed rest,” Kim said, he feels close to “100 percent.”

“I did not ask for or expect special treatment from anyone,” said Kim. He said he debated whether to post the video because he had read about backlash against celebrities getting special treatment.

“I believe that health care for all is a right, not a privilege. And not just health care, but quality health care. Everyone who meets the qualifications to be tested should be. Period. Because the virus doesn’t care about race, or gender, religion, sexual orientation, whether you’re rich or poor, or your immigration status. Only we seem to care about that,” said Kim.

He addressed xenophobia after thanking the medical staff around the world and apologizing to the people he could have spread the virus to during the period he was asymptomatic.

“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. 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. And 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,” said Kim.

This is a reference to President Donald Trump’s insistence on calling the new coronavirus the “Chinese Virus.”

“The point is name-calling gets us nowhere. When people are ill, what matters most is how best to take care of ourselves, and one another,” said Kim.

By Lim Jang-won (ljw@heraldcorp.com)
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