Two congressmen who have recovered from the coronavirus announced Thursday that they have donated their blood plasma in an attempt to help strengthen the immune response of other patients stricken with the deadly virus.
Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida and Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham of South Carolina were among the five lawmakers on Capitol Hill to announce positive coronavirus tests in March. Diaz-Balart was the first to announce that he had contracted the virus.
"Yesterday, my wife Tia and I visited (OneBlood) where I donated my plasma and she donated blood to help those with critical health conditions. I strongly encourage people who have recovered from COVID-19 to become a plasma donor — someone's life could depend on it," the Florida lawmaker wrote on Twitter. Diaz-Balart first announced he tested positive on March 18.
Cunningham, who announced on March 27 that he had mild coronvirus symptoms, also shared a message on Twitter encouraging those who have recovered from the virus to donate their plasma.
"I was incredibly fortunate to only have extremely mild #COVID19 symptoms and now I'm grateful for the chance to help out someone who is critically ill. If you've recovered from coronavirus, I encourage you to do the same!"
In coordination with the US Food and Drug Administration, the Red Cross has announced that they are seeking donors who are fully recovered from coronavirus to give plasma.
The idea is that convalescent plasma, the liquid part of blood, from recovered patients contains antibodies that could help strengthen the immune response of other patients still battling infection. In mid-April, the FDA announced that patients who are fully recovered from Covid-19 for at least two weeks are encouraged to consider donating plasma.