LOS ANGELES — Actor Tom Hanks, who has embraced being the celebrity face of COVID-19 recovery, has donated blood and plasma to help study and fight the virus.
The 63-year-old Oscar winner posted a photo of his plasma on social media Wednesday. In the post, he included a shout-out to UCLA and Dr. Anne Rimoin, an infectious disease epidemiologist and UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor.
"Here’s last week's bag of plasma. Such a bag! After the paperwork, it’s as easy as taking a nap," Hank's said in his post.
In March, the Food and Drug Administration approved investigating treatment options for the coronavirus outbreak by using plasma and blood collected from recovered COVID-19 patients, who have potentially lifesaving antibodies circulating in their blood.
Hanks recently asked his Twitter followers to consider donating their own blood and plasma too to UCLA. He said, "LA First Responders and Healthcare Workers need testing - are they safe to work or not? Data for research needs collecting."
"We just found out that we do carry the antibodies," Hanks said during a recent appearance on the NPR podcast "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me."
"We have not only been approached, we have said, 'Do you want our blood? Can we give plasma?' 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.
The "Cast Away" star and his wife, Rita Wilson, were both diagnosed with COVID-19 back in March while Hanks was working on a film in Australia.
“Hello, folks. Rita and I are down here in Australia. We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too. To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the Coronavirus, and were found to be positive," Hanks wrote in a statement on Twitter at the time.
Hanks and Wilson returned to the United States on March 28. He then hosted the first-ever at-home "Saturday Night Live," as cast members practiced social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.