Bryan Cranston Opens Up About Recovering from COVID-19 and Donating Plasma: 'I Was Very Fortunate'

"I lost my taste and sense of smell for a couple of months," Bryan Cranston said of his experience with COVID-19

Bryan Cranston is opening up about recovering from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and his decision to donate plasma.

On Tuesday, during a virtual appearance on Live with Kelly and Ryan, Cranston — who revealed last month that he had contracted the virus and has since recovered — shared that he and his wife Robin Dearden "had it very early on."

"When my wife and I had it very early on — the very first week that everything had shut down — I didn't think that the world needed another celebrity saying, 'Hey, I had it!' so I just didn't say anything and went about my way," Cranston said, explaining why he chose to announce his diagnosis last month.

"We were very fortunate," Cranston continued, sharing that he and his wife had "mild symptoms."

Cranston said they experienced a "couple days of feeling achy" and "a week of severe lethargy."

"I lost my taste and sense of smell for a couple months," Cranston said, adding that it has "since come back to about 75 percent."

"I count my blessings that that was the extent of my sacrifice," Cranston said. "I had the antibodies and [wasn't] infected anymore and so I thought now is the time to give plasma."

Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston. Neilson Barnard/Getty

He explained that when he went to donate plasma, he recorded the process, prompting doctors to ask him to do a social media post about the donation in hopes of encouraging others to do the same.

Cranston said that's when he also decided to go public and reveal he had previously contracted the virus.

"I thought, 'Okay, this is a good reason for me to now out myself and say I had COVID-19 and I was very fortunate' and maybe if you had it and are fine now, maybe you can give plasma to those truly suffering," Cranston said he thought at the time.

Cranston also shared that he and his wife spent time with Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who also contracted the virus early on and have since recovered.

"We were talking to them when they were still in Australia," Cranston said. "When they came back, the four of us had dinner together and we looked at each other and said, 'I think we can do this because we all had it, we're all not infected anymore' and at the time we thought, 'Oh, we can't get it again.' Now that is still uncertain, but if it possible to be reinfected, I can fight it off."

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"But my heart goes out to those people who have passed and those suffering. If any of you watching now had it and got through it ... if you can consider giving plasma to your local blood bank, it will help many, many people," Cranston added.

In July, Cranston shared on Instagram that despite being "pretty strict in adhering to the protocols" he still contracted the virus.

"I was one of the lucky ones. Mild symptoms. I count my blessings and urge you to keep wearing the damn mask, keep washing your hands, and stay socially distant. We can prevail — but ONLY if we follow the rules. Be well — Stay well," Cranston added, signing the caption BC.

In the accompanying video, Cranston is seen standing outside of the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center as he shared he decided to donate his plasma that contains COVID-19 antibodies to those still fighting off the virus.

"This will help people recover faster and be used in scientific research studies about this virus," read a message in the video shown below the clip of Cranston later inside the center, documenting his plasma donation.

Of the plasma donation, Cranston explained it takes an hour and he was allowed to watch the movie A Face in the Crowd to pass the time. Cranston later explained that the medical personnel collected 840 milliliters of plasma.

As of Tuesday, there are over 5 million cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and at least 164,024 deaths, according to a New York Times database.

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