Not content with just playing the good guy in movies, Tom Hanks has defended his title as the Nicest Man in Hollywood, nay, the world, by offering up his blood for use in coronavirus vaccine research.
The actor and his wife, singer and actress Rita Wilson, both tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the year and went into quarantine in Australia, where Hanks had been filming Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic. They have since recovered from their symptoms and returned to the United States, where Hanks says they have been doing whatever they can to help in the pandemic.
“A lot of the questions [are] what do we do now? Is there something we can do?” Hanks said during a recent guest appearance on the NPR news quiz podcast Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! “And, in fact, we just found out that we do carry the antibodies… We have not only been approached, we have said, ‘Do you want our blood? Can we give plasma?'”
One avenue of research in COVID-19 treatment involves testing the blood people who have recovered from coronavirus symptoms for antibodies which will prevent them from reinfection, in the hope that they can then be used to treat patients who are sick. Hanks and Wilson are more than willing to donate their plasma to these ongoing trials, and they have the perfect name ready in case their blood helps the scientific community come up with a vaccine.
“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.