Actor Mel Gibson contracted the novel coronavirus earlier this year and was subsequently hospitalized for a week in Los Angeles, one of his representatives confirmed to People on Thursday. The 64-year-old Braveheart, Lethal Weapon and Mad Max star has since recovered from his illness.
“He tested positive in April and spent a week in the hospital,” Gibson’s rep told People. “He was treated with the drug Remdesivir, while in the hospital, and has tested negative numerous times since then as well as positive for the antibodies.”
Remdesivir — an antiviral drug developed by Gilead Sciences — was previously used to treat Ebola. However, some recent studies have shown that it can have beneficial effects on COVID-19 patients. In June, Nature published a study in which Remdesivir was shown to reduce damage and disease progression, but not viral shedding, in rhesus macaque monkeys. It has been used to treat coronavirus-positive humans around the globe.
Gibson’s diagnosis and recovery were originally reported by The Daily Telegraph. The Academy Award winner is just the latest of a litany of stars who have dealt with COVID-19 since the pandemic started.
As relayed by The Inquisitr, recording artist Pink detailed her own harrowing battle with the coronavirus in April. Other high-profile celebrities known to have contracted the virus include actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, NBA star Kevin Durant and political commentator George Stephanopoulos.
Overall, confirmed case numbers of COVID-19 infection are on the rise in the U.S. According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 72,000 new cases were confirmed on July 23. This marked the ninth time in the previous 10 days that the daily number of new cases topped 60,000.
Since the country’s first case was reported in January, more than 4,000,000 cases have been recorded by the CDC, while over 143,000 people have died.
Before the pandemic took hold worldwide, Gibson had finished work on the upcoming action thriller Last Looks, along with co-stars Charlie Hunnam, Morena Baccarin, Dominic Monaghan and the Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man. The Tim Kirkby-directed feature is based on the Howard Michael Gould novel of the same name. Although it was slated for a 2020 release, upcoming films from various studios have been delayed and/or rescheduled in the wake of the pandemic.
More recently, Gibson was the subject of controversy with regard to hate speech that he allegedly made in front of actress Winona Rider at a Hollywood party. According to Ryder, via The Sunday Times, Gibson made homophobic and anti-Semitic remarks in her presence.
A rep for Gibson denied those allegations last month.