Daniel Dae Kim has been tested positive for COVID-19.
In a 10-minute video posted to his Instagram page on Thursday (Mar 18), Kim said he’d been in New York City while filming the medical drama New Amsterdam, where “ironically, I was playing a doctor who gets recruited to a hospital to help patients during a flu pandemic.”
When production on the series was suspended due to the pandemic, Kim decided to return to Hawaii to be with his family. It was during the flight home that he developed a scratchy throat.
“To be safe, when I got home I quarantined myself in a room in the house and tried to rest on my own,” he said. Soon after he started showing other symptoms, including tightness in his chest, body aches and a fever.
He got tested for COVID-19 at a drive-thru testing centre in Honolulu. “They shove a huge swab into your nose and into your throat,” said Kim of the procedure.
In the video, Kim, 51, also apologised to the cast and crew he may have unknowingly exposed to the COVID-19 and expressed his gratitude towards the frontline healthcare workers fighting to contain the spread of the virus as well as the grocery store employees and others whose jobs have put them at risk of contracting the virus.
He urged teenagers and millennials to take COVID-19 seriously. “And if you treat this without care, you are potentially endangering the lives of millions of people, including your loved ones. So for the sake of everyone else, please follow the guidelines: socially distance, self-isolate, stop touching your face, and of course, wash your hands.”
Kim also spoke out against the xenophobic behaviour and violence targeted at Asians amid the crisis. “Randomly beating elderly, sometimes homeless Asian Americans is cowardly, heartbreaking and inexcusable,” he said.
“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 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. 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.”
He continued, "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."
Kim said he would update his situation “as necessary”.
"But in the meantime please be safe, please be healthy and please be kind to one another," he said. "And please stop hoarding the toilet paper. Seriously. How dirty are you down there?"
Photo: TPG News/Click Photos