Actor, director, and notorious bigot Mel Gibson contracted the novel coronavirus in April. The 64-year-old’s illness was severe enough to require a week in a Los Angeles hospital, although he has since recovered.
Gibson is the latest celebrity to admit to suffering from COVID-19, joining the ranks of Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, Idris Elba, Pink, Universal Music head Lucian Grainge, and actress Olga Kurylenko. Australia’s The Daily Telegraph broke the news, and Gibson’s representatives confirmed the story with PEOPLE. In a statement, his camp said that he had been treated with the antiviral drug remdesivir, explaining,
“He tested positive in April and spent a week in the hospital. 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 has been shown to reduce recovery time for COVID-19 patients, though it may not work as well on cases severe enough to require a respirator. Notably, the FDA gave the drug emergency authorization for coronavirus treatment on May 1st, after Gibson had already used it. He was lucky to take part in an early remdesivir trial — and famous enough that doctors would think twice before prescribing him a placebo. It’s a reminder, if you needed one, that during this pandemic the rich have accessed better medical resources, and poverty is a pre-existing condition.
In June, Gibson’s vile prejudices were once again in the spotlight, when anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks he made to Winona Ryder resurfaced. Gibson vehemently denies her side of the story, but then, he’s been caught on tape making anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks several times previously, so he probably doesn’t deserver the benefit of the doubt. Earlier this month, Gibson starred in the conservative action thriller Force of Nature.
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