Tom Hanks' blood now being used for coronavirus vaccine research

Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson in 2014
Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson in 2014 | REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Academy award-winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, tested positive for COVID-19 in March and now both coronavirus-free, the actors will donate blood to aid research on a potential treatment.

Hanks was a guest on the NPR show "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" with host Peter Sagal and talked about life post-coronavirus.

"Well, a lot of the question is, 'What now?' You know?" Hanks said. "What do we do now? Is there something we can do? And, in fact, we just found out that we do carry the antibodies," the 63-year-old revealed.

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"Can we harvest your blood?" guest host Peter Grosz asked Hanks. 

"Yes," the actor replied. 

"We have not only been approached, we have said, 'Do you want our blood? Can we give plasma?' 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," Hanks joked. 

Sagal said, "There could be no better ending to this international catastrophe than if the cure turns out to be the blood of Tom Hanks.”

Researchers hope that using plasma from coronavirus survivors will prove to be effective but it is still in an experimental phase. The concept would be to give sick patients antibody-rich blood plasma from people who have recovered from the COVID-19 as a way to help them fight off the virus.

Hanks has been transparent about his fight with the virus. He described having "bad body aches" and feeling "very fatigued," when talking to Military Defense Radio.

He said that his wife "went through a tougher time" than he did. "She had a much higher fever. She had lost her sense of taste and sense of smell." 

"She got absolutely no joy from food for a better part of three weeks," Hanks added.

According to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine, there have been over 3,157,459 cases worldwide. In the United Sates, over 56,000 have died of COVID-19.

Some states are now starting to slowly reopen their economies as the infection rate dropped in some hotspots. Some have warned that easing the restrictions could lead to another wave of COVID-19 cases. 

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