Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Are Offering Up Their Antibodies to Help Research Coronavirus Treatments

Just in case you didn’t already have enough reasons to love Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks, he recently disclosed that he and his wife Rita Wilson would be donating their blood to help scientists develop potential treatments for COVID-19.

Hanks and Wilson had tested positive for the novel coronavirus back in mid-March while they had been overseas in Australia. Upon recovering from the virus in April, Hanks has been using his recovery as a source of hope—and amusement—for social media users.

During his most recent appearance on NPR’s comedic radio game show “Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!”, the hosts asked Hanks about whether he was now immune to the virus.

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Not only did Hanks confirm that his blood now carries antibodies against COVID-19, he says that he and Wilson will be donating their blood to further coronavirus research.

“We have not only been approached [about donating blood]; we have said, ‘do you want our blood? Can we give plasma?’” quipped Hanks. “And, in fact, we will be giving it now to the places that hope to work on what I would like to call the Hank-ccine.”

While the treatment is not likely to be named after the actor, scientists are currently researching “convalescent plasma treatment”—an experimental therapy that was recently approved for testing by the FDA. The treatment involves drawing blood plasma out of an individual who has built up an immunity to the virus as a result of their recovery. The plasma—which is chocked full of healthy antibodies that have grown to fight the virus—is then injected into a sick patient so the antibodies can theoretically attack the virus for its new host.

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Since hospitals across the country are now searching for recovered COVID-19 patients to donate blood plasma, several NBA players are also now cooperating with the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project (CCPP19) to volunteer as donors.

However, NPR show host Peter Sagal aptly responded to Hanks’s joke by saying: “There could be no better ending to this international catastrophe than if the cure turns out to be the blood of Tom Hanks.”

This is just one of many positive stories and updates that are coming out of the COVID-19 news coverage this week. For more uplifting coverage on the outbreaks, click here.

(LISTEN to the amusing segment below) – Feature photo by Dick Thomas Johnson, CC

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