The COVID-19 coronavirus has continued its inexorable spread across the world. Major sporting events have been cancelled, public buildings closed and strict quarantines have been established to limit contagion. With governments telling their citizens not to panic, disinformation has been all over the place. I’ve read that the virus is being “activated” by 5G, that it’s an out-of-control Chinese bioweapon and even that it’s of extraterrestrial origin. But there’s at least one specific piece of disinformation that we can conclusively disprove today: Jackie Chan is not in quarantine.
Over the past few days, there’ve been rumors that Chan was ill, potentially had coronavirus and had been placed in quarantine in Hong Kong. But now the actor himself has issued a statement via Weibo and Instagram, saying:
“Recently, my staff told be about the news that’s been circulating around the world, saying that I’ve been placed under quarantine for COVID-19. Firstly, I’d like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ for everybody’s concern! I’m very healthy and safe, and haven’t been quarantined. I’ve received many messages from friends asking if I’m ok. Your love and concern is so heartwarming. Thank you! I’ve also received some very special gifts from fans all over the world during this very difficult time. Thank you for the face masks. Your thoughtfulness is well received! And I’ve asked my lovely staff to donate your kindness through official organizations to those who need it most.”
Furthermore, Chan went on to talk about the desperate search for a cure or vaccine, promising to stump up for a big reward for the scientist that manages to beat COVID-19.
“Science and technology is key to overcoming the virus, and I believe many people have the same thought as me and hope that an antidote can be developed as soon as possible. I have a ‘naive’ idea now. No matter which individual or organization develops the antidote, I want to thank them with 1 million yuan.”
Given that the cure will most likely be found by a research institute of some kind, I’m betting that a prize of 1 million yuan (about $200,000) won’t make a huge difference. However, Chan’s heart is certainly in the right place and I’m sure a donation of that size could be put to great use in either paying for preventative measures for ordinary citizens or assisting with long-term care for those whose respiratory systems are permanently damaged.
It’s also worth noting that while Chan’s health seems fine, the virus is affecting the box office of his latest film. Cinema attendance has plummeted across Asian countries, with the Chinese government going so far as to pull his new movie Vanguard from cinemas for fear that it’d attract audiences. Here’s hoping he stays well, though as one commentator pointed out:
“Jackie‘s body is made of metal, Coronavirus wouldn‘t scratch him a bit.”
You’ll next see Jackie Chan taking on none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Iron Mask, which doesn’t yet have a US theatrical release date, but hits UK theaters on April 10th, 2020 and will also be made available via Digital On-Demand.