Trump urges recovered coronavirus patients to donate plasma to treat new patients with antibodies
White House says one unit of plasma could save three people's lives through antibody transfer
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
President Trump on Thursday urged recovered coronavirus patients to donate their blood plasma to allow doctors to treat new patients with antibodies.
The White House said that one unit of plasma could save three people's lives through an antibody transfer "multiplier effect."
Trump announced his administration is partnering with commercial labs, insurers and healthcare providers to encourage those who have recovered from the virus to donate plasma. The president also thanked Labcorp for providing free antibody testing to find more donors.
"So if you've had the virus, if you donate, it would be a terrific thing, we really need donations of the plasma," Trump also said Thursday, during a roundtable discussion hosted at the American Red Cross. "To those that have had the virus, you've gotten through it, and I guess that means you have something very special there. So we would appreciate that. It would help a lot of people."
Trump said the administration would provide up to $270 million to the American Red Cross and America's Blood Centers for the collection of up to 360,000 units of plasma.
Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, compared the human body to a biotech factory, telling coronavirus survivors: “You’re in the position to donate your biotechnology product."
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that the U.S. has so far had nearly 50,000 coronavirus patients received donated plasma but that “we need hundreds of thousands more to please come forward,” referring to donors.
Trump appointee Adam Boehler, CEO of U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, told Just the News in an interview at the White House that early studies are promising about donated plasma's effect on coronavirus patients' treatment.
"I don't want to get ahead of anybody on it, FDA, etc.," Boehler said. "So when the final results come out, hopefully it will be good. But no matter what, we need plasma to even empower the studies. And so it is critical we get plasma and they are infusing plasma right now. Hospitals are doing it right now. Anecdotally, really good, early, promising. Let's wait till the full studies out to make conclusions, but it's promising on the early side."
Boehler said medical professionals are practicing social distancing and other coronavirus-era safety protocols to ensure safe donation process. He urged Americans to log onto Thefightisinus.org to find their local plasma donation center.
Boehler said that the call for plasma donations is a unifying during a fractious political climate.
"One of the things that's great for us as a country is when we're in divided times, we come together," he said. "So we want to make sure that there is a lot of plasma on hand, because if the final studies show that this is positive, we're not going to wait. We want to go right away, because if we can say one more life, we're going to go to ends of the earth, and this administration will go to the ends of the earth to save every single American life we can."
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