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Daniel Dae Kim Has The Coronavirus, And Wants People To Stop Calling It The "China Virus"

"Despite what certain political leaders want to call it, I don’t consider the place where it is from as important as the people who are sick and dying."

Posted on March 19, 2020, at 3:21 p.m. ET

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Actor Daniel Dae Kim, best known for appearing on Hawaii Five-O and Lost, announced Thursday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus disease COVID-19.

"I'm grateful to be alive and healthy," Kim said on Instagram. "It gives me hope that through our collective efforts we can beat this thing and flatten the curve."

Speaking from his home in Hawaii, the 51-year-old South Korean American actor announced he was tested after returning from New York. He had been there filming the television series New Amsterdam, on which he played a doctor recruited to a hospital during a flu pandemic. When that show stopped production due to the coronavirus outbreak, Kim returned on a plane to Hawaii.

"I was asymptotic during all of this time, but as the flight was close to landing I started noticing some scratchiness in my throat, which is unlike how I usually get sick, so when I landed I called my family doctor," Kim said.

The actor said he self-quarantined in a room in his home away from his family, but soon began feeling tightness in his chest, body aches, and a fever.

Kim took himself to a drive-thru testing facility for the test, which he described as painful. "But it was worth it because of what I found out," he said.

The actor said he has not been to the hospital and is feeling better. "Today, even though I'm not 100%, I'm pretty close," he said.

Kim also said his family were tested and do not have the disease.

The actor said he was sincerely apologetic to those he may have infected without realizing on his flight or on the New Amsterdam set.

"Though I had no way of knowing and I was trying to be as careful as I could, I feel terrible that I could have given this to anyone, let alone people that I value enough to spend time with," Kim said, "and this of course includes the cast of New Amsterdam."

Kim also issued a powerful anti-racist statement to those who are blaming, or even attacking, people of Asian descent for the viral pandemic.

"Please stop the prejudice and senseless violence against Asian people," he said.

Kim made the announcement the same day President Trump doubled down on his belief that calling the coronavirus "the China virus," as he has been doing publicly for several days now, is not racist.

Close up of President @realDonaldTrump notes is seen where he crossed out "Corona" and replaced it with "Chinese" Virus as he speaks with his coronavirus task force today at the White House. #trump #trumpnotes

Without mentioning Trump by name, Kim denounced those calling the coronavirus the "China virus."

“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 is 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?"

The actor said he hoped to recover soon and then assist in efforts to find a cure for the disease, even if it means donating his own antibodies.

He also joked he was becoming part of a club of famous actors to announce their coronavirus diagnoses.

"I guess it's nice to be mentioned in the same breath as Tom Hanks and Idris Elba, two of my favorite actors," he said. "I guess I'm in some pretty good company."

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