‘I was pretty strict in adhering to the protocols and still… I contracted the virus,’ Cranston says
As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to increase across the U.S., Emmy Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston has taken to Instagram to reveal he had and has recovered from COVID-19 (even after following “pretty strict” protocols) and to remind — nay, urge — fans to “keep wearing the damn mask.”
“Hello, everybody,” a surgical mask-wearing Cranston says to the camera while a phlebotomist at the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center draws antibody-positive blood from his arm. “I wanted to announce that I had COVID-19.”
Cranston wrote that he had COVID-19 “a little while ago” and that he was “one of the lucky ones,” adding that he experienced mild symptoms, including “slight headache, tightness of chest and lost all taste and smell.”
“I was pretty strict in adhering to the protocols and still… I contracted the virus. Yep. it sounds daunting now that over 150,000 Americans are dead because of it,” Cranston said.
“I count my blessings,” the Breaking Bad star continues, “and urge you to keep wearing the damn mask, keep washing your hands, and stay socially distant.”
Cranston, who describes blood plasma as “liquid gold,” tells viewers that the plasma donation process takes about an hour, throughout which he watched the 1957 film A Face in the Crowd. “Hopefully the plasma donation can help other people,” he adds.
Cranston joins a long list of celebrities who’ve also tested positive for the novel coronavirus — celebrities that include Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Idris Elba, Andy Cohen, Mel Gibson, and more. He also isn’t alone in donating plasma: Hanks and Wilson donated blood and plasma back in April, about one month after they tested positive for COVID-19.
“A lot of the question is, ‘What now?’ You know? ‘What do we do now? Is there something we can do?’ And, in fact, we just found out that we do carry the antibodies,” Hanks said on the April 18 episode of NPR’s “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!” “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.”
According to the American Red Cross, the plasma in the blood of those fully recovered from COVID-19 may contain antibodies that can attack the virus, and this plasm is currently being evaluated as a possible treatment for currently ill COVID-19 patients. “So, your donation could help save the lives of patients battling this disease!” the organization states on their website.
To qualify, patients must be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds. Patients must also be in good health, meaning they “generally feel well, even if you’re being treated for a chronic condition,” Red Cross states. Lastly, patients must have a prior, verified diagnosis of COVID-19 and be symptom-free.
Yesterday, the FDA launched a plasma donation PSA campaign in an effort to “dramatically” increase donations of convalescent plasma by the end of August.
“If you’ve recovered from COVID-19 confirmed by a positive test, you’re in a special position to help us fight the virus,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn. So far, according to the FDA, over 40,000 patients have received plasma treatment for COVID-19.
“We can prevail,” Cranston said, “but ONLY if we follow the rules together.”