America’s dad might soon be America’s cure. After recovering from COVID-19, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson’s blood is being used to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
On April 18, Hanks told NPR’s Wait, Wait...Don’t Tell Me that he and Wilson were “just fine, dandy.” So much so they had voluntarily donated their blood and plasma to COVID-19 research. “A lot of the questions [are] what do we do now? Is there something we can do? And, in fact, we just found out that we do carry the antibodies,” he told the podcast. “We have not only been approached, we have said, ‘Do you want our blood? Can we give plasma?'”
The couple were diagnosed with COVID-19 in early March while Hanks was shooting Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic starring Austin Butler in Australia. Hanks told Wait, Wait...Don’t Tell Me that he experienced flu-like symptoms, but Wilson had it way worse than him. “She had a much higher fever. She had lost her sense of taste and sense of smell,” Hanks said. “She got absolutely no joy from food for a better part of three weeks.”
The couple has since become the face of coronavirus recovery, posting sweet Instagram medical updates, shooting quarantine rap videos, and hosting SNL from a kitchen that wasn’t actually his. (“No, that was my abandoned office that is 10 minutes away from my home,” Hanks said of his secret opening monologue location.) So maybe it’s fitting that Hanks could become the namesake of a vaccine.
In fact, Hanks already has a suggestion as to what they could call the drug should it come from his blood. “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,’” he said.
All jokes aside, it does have a nice punny ring to it.
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic. Go to the CDC website for the latest information on symptoms, prevention, and other resources.