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Idris Elba has responded to Cardi B’s recent theory that celebrities are being paid to announce they have been diagnosed with COVID-19.



Elba, who claims both he and his wife tested positive for the novel coronavirus, addressed the assertion in a recent Instagram Live session.

“I think the debate about rich and poor and who’s getting it and who’s not, I think, is not a healthy debate,” he said. “It’s like, I got a test but I also got COVID. Does that make me preferential? I don’t understand that.”

Elba also called out people who are “test-shaming” by questioning why celebrities seem to have easier access to COVID-19 testing.

“I think that the negativity around test-shaming is counterproductive,” he said. “I don’t see what people get out of that. And also this idea that someone like myself is gonna be paid to say I’ve got coronavirus? That’s absolute bullshit. 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 or we ain’t got it. I don’t even understand the logic of that.”

Hear him tell it via the clip below.

He added, “I’m not an actor right now. I’m just a human being and I just happen to be in the public eye. So I want people to understand that this is very real. I don’t feel like I’m privileged because I got a test because I actually contracted it.”

Last week, with his wife Sabrina by his side, Elba revealed on social media that he tested positive for the deadly virus, but he has zero symptoms.

“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,” he posted on Twitter.

The English actor went on to explain that he got tested for the coronavirus after learning he had come into contact with someone who was infected.

“I was told that someone that I had been in contact with had tested positive,” he said. “I’m on location, about to start a film, and the news breaks that this person—who’s also in the public eye—had tested positive, so it was definitely something I had to … quite honestly, my job made me test immediately. I had to test any way, because it meant putting a lot of people at risk if I had been exposed.”

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He later hopped on social to urge his followers to stop spreading the myth that Black folks are immune to the virus.