Movie lovers everywhere were shocked and saddened to learn that America’s Dad, Tom Hanks, and his wife Rita Wilson were amongst the first celebrities to contract the coronavirus. But their sorrows were alleviated when two weeks later, the two reported that they were on the road to recovery. Hanks and Wilson have been frontrunners in keeping America’s hopes up about surviving this outbreak. But now the couple are contributing in a different way.
During an interview with NPR’s radio show Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, Hanks said that he and Wilson are volunteering their blood to help doctors and scientists develop a vaccine to the coronavirus. Hanks described the symptoms he and his wife went through after returning from Australia from the set of Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic, in which Hanks is plays Presley’s agent, Colonel Tom Parker. According to Hanks, his symptoms were mild compared to his wife’s, stating “Rita went through a tougher time than I 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.”
Nevertheless, Hanks says that he and Wilson are feeling much better now. “A lot of the questions [are] what do we do now? Is there something we can do?” Hanks said. “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?’”
Hanks joked that if a vaccine is made from his blood, he wants it to be called “the Hanks-cine.”