Idris Elba accuses people of 'test shaming' celebrities for getting coronavirus tests when most of us can't

James Besanvalle
Wednesday 25 March 2020 10:45
Showbiz

Actor Idris Elba, who tested positive for Covid-19 last week, has said that people criticising celebrities for being tested quickly for coronavirus are "test-shaming".

Elba made the comment in response to an Instagram video by Cardi B. The rapper called out the US government’s double standard when it comes to who they provide coronavirus tests to, and also said that so many celebrities being tested without symptoms was confusing the general public. Elba said that "test shaming" was "counterproductive"

So what happened?

The 27-year-old 'Bodak Yellow' singer posted a video to discuss “confusion” surrounding celebrities with no symptoms getting Covid-19 tests over people who actually have symptoms.

She specifically slammed President Donald Trump after the administration has given conflicting information on whether or not people should get tested, and there are reportedly people being turned away for tests despite having come into contact with the virus.

So, as Cardi B asked, why are celebrities getting access to tests if they’re feeling fine?

She said:

That make people be like, wait a minute now, I don't have no symptoms, but I know I went out this and that day. S***, I might just have it. S***, I'm scared because I'm around my kid, I'm around my grandparent. What should I do?

And let me tell you something, the general public, people that work regular jobs, people that get regular paychecks, the middle class, the poor – they not getting treated like the high, the ones up here, celebrities and everything.

A lot of celebrities might have the luxury to pay $34,000 or however much is costs to get tested. A lot of people don't have that money and can't even afford healthcare.

Cardi B then called out the waiting period for people to be able to access tests, as well as getting their results.

She also highlighted the privilege of celebrities being able to afford tests and having the luxury of being able to quarantine from other people they live with in their “big a** house”.

Then what happened?

The response to the video was overwhelmingly positive. One fan wrote:

CARDI FOR PRESIDENT

Another commented:

Here in Colorado it’s taking 8 days to get results. I work for a federally qualified health center and due to not having enough tests for everyone, we have to make sure the patients meet all the criteria. With that being said, many people might have Covid but are not being tested because they don’t fit all the criteria. So of course this crap is gonna keep on spreading.​

But Elba, who is one of the most high-profile people to test positive for coronavirus, responded:

I think the negativity around 'test shaming' is counterproductive. I don't see what people get out of that.

The intervention comes as frustration rises at the number of high profile celebrities being tested for Covid-19 as the public continue to wait. Elba himself debunked a bizarre conspiracy theory which alleged that celebrities were being paid to announce that they have coronavirus on Instagram.

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