Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star Ice-T is making sure his fans take the coronavirus pandemic seriously, reminding everyone on Twitter this is a serious crisis. In a tweet on Monday, the rapper suggested anyone who still believes it is a conspiracy can "stay stupid." His tweets came as cases continued to climb on Monday, with more than 153,000 in the U.S. alone. More than 2,800 deaths have been reported.
"FYI: If you still chose to believe that all this s— is Fake... Stay stupid," Ice-T tweeted. He later added, "Hey. I rock with all the conspiracies and hype.. The FACT still remains. The VIRUS is REAL. And it will F you up if you get it.. Maybe not kill YOU. But may F up or kill someone you know and love. That's not hype. Stay safe people."
Ice-T, 62, later responded to several fans, including one who suggested the media was "blowing it out of proportion." "Until somebody you know dies," he snapped back. Another person asked him why celebrities who have tested positive have not died "or recorded their struggle." Ice-T would have none of that though, noting that his friend Scarface has talked about it and he knows two people who have died.
"Check my close homie [Scarface] post on YouTube," Ice-T wrote. "He's going through it right now. My best friend has it and I know 2 people personally that Died. How much proof do you need??"
The Law & Order: SVU family has been in mourning during the coronavirus crisis after the death of Josh Wallwork, one of the show's costumers. Wallwork, 45, died last week after contracting the coronavirus.
"I worked with Josh every day… MAN! Pay attention people," Ice-T wrote after hearing the news from showrunner Warren Leight.
"Heartbroken we are. I don't think I ever saw him without a smile on his face," Mariska Hargitay wrote. "He brought love and kindness everywhere he went. Always ready with the joke. The SVU Corredor will never be the same. We will miss you Josh."
Danny Pino, who also starred on SVU, added, "Heartbreaking. Sending love and healing to Josh's family and friends, our SVU family and all those in NYC. Please stay safe."
"Very sad news today," Leight wrote in his own statement. "One of our costumers, and a beautiful man, Josh Wallwork, passed away from complications of Covid-19. Cast and crew send love and prayers to his family and friends. We are heartbroken."
New York has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that 1,218 people have died in the state, a jump from 965 deaths on Sunday morning.
"If you wait to prepare for a storm to hit, it is too late," Cuomo said, reports The New York Times. "You have to prepare before the storm hits. And in this case the storm is when you hit that high point, when you hit that apex. How do you know when you're going to get there? You don't."
Photo credit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images