Furious Fans Demand Explanation From Idris Elba About Symptom-Free Celebrities Getting Coronavirus Tests

Few people understand exactly what’s going on with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The virus seemed like a distant, abstract concern just a short time ago. And now? The world became a completely different place almost overnight, with citizens being forced to stay home to curb the spread of the virus.

Luckily, we still have the internet to keep us all connected. Celebrities have been flocking to social media to share their opinions on the quarantine and urging fans to observe the new rules of social distancing. Meanwhile, a few notable celebs even admitted to testing positive for COVID-19.

You’d think that hearing A-listers share messages of hope during the pandemic would help calm people down. But instead, fans are absolutely furious that celebs are gaining access to coronavirus tests — which are in short supply — while other, sicker people are forced to do without.

Idris Elba
Idris Elba | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

How do celebrities and pro athletes get access to coronavirus tests?

Even during a global pandemic, wealth and notoriety are still your best ticket to getting what you need. Reports of coronavirus test shortages have done nothing to slow down the number of high-profile people getting tested, even if they aren’t exhibiting symptoms. Meanwhile, average citizens who only display mild symptoms of coronavirus are being sent home from hospitals with instructions to self-quarantine just in case. There simply aren’t enough tests to go around.

These public figures are mostly remaining mum on the topic. The New York Times reported that many have “refused to specify” how they were able to get tested despite their lack of symptoms, and also said, “such cases have provoked accusations of elitism and preferential treatment.”

However, one celebrity who tested positive for coronavirus did speak up to defend himself on Twitter.

Fans questioned how actor Idris Elba got access to a coronavirus test without symptoms

One celebrity who recently tested positive for coronavirus did decide to reveal how and why he got tested. British actor Idris Elba posted that he wasn’t showing any symptoms.

He wrote, “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. No panic.”

Fans were immediately supportive of the situation but they weren’t shy about asking some pressing questions, too. “I love Idris with all my heart,” one Twitter fan replied. “But I just would like to know how with NO SYMPTOMS he (and athletes and other celebrities) managed to get tested when other people who have symptoms are being turned away. And get results right away while other people have to wait days.”

Idris Elba defended his decision to get tested for coronavirus

Rather than staying quiet, Elba gave a reason for getting tested sans symptoms. “I’m on location, about to start filming, so it was definitely something I had to do as I was about to start filming and I was around a lot of people,” Elba shared on Twitter. “It meant putting a lot of people at risk and if I had been exposed, then the people I had been working with would also be exposed.”

He continued: “We are supremely aware that not a lot of people can get tests, and we feel very fortunate and lucky, but it is down to being on the job, quite honestly.”

Not all celebrities getting tested are working, however. It’ll be interesting to see if any of them go public with defensive statements about how they were able to gain access to tests even in the midst of massive shortages.