This week, U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., announced that he has recovered from coronavirus and that he has beoame a COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor.
Diaz-Balart announced he has donated to OneBlood, a not-for-profit active in Florida and across the Southeast.
“COVID-19 convalescent plasma is an experimental treatment that has been approved by the FDA to be used to treat critically ill coronavirus patients,” the congressman’s office noted.
“I’m extremely grateful to, not only have completely recovered from COVID-19, but also to have been able to donate my plasma to help those with serious or immediately life-threatening coronavirus infections,” said Diaz-Balart on Thursday. “I strongly encourage people who have recovered from COVID-19 to become a donor, it could save someone’s life. I thank the OneBlood team for their amazing work. During a time of crisis, it’s crucial that we come together to help any way we can.”
“People who recover from COVID-19 have developed antibodies to the virus that remain in the plasma portion of their blood. Transfusing plasma that contains the antibodies into a person still fighting the virus can provide a boost to the patient’s immune system and potentially help them recover,” the congressman’s office noted. “OneBlood, began collecting COVID-19 convalescent plasma earlier this month and has since collected and distributed several hundred units to hospitals throughout its service area.”
“People who have recovered from the coronavirus hold the potential key in helping critically ill coronavirus patients recover and they are needed”, said Susan Forbes, a senior VP of corporate communications and public relations for OneBlood. “OneBlood is collecting COVID-19 convalescent plasma seven days a week throughout its service area and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”
First elected to Congress in a special election in 2001, Diaz-Balart does not face any opposition this year as he runs for reelection.
Diaz-Balart’s office provided the following Donor Eligibility Requirements:
- Prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by an FDA approved laboratory test
- A positive diagnostic test at the time of illness OR
- A positive serological test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies after recovery
- Complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days prior to donation and a documented negative COVID-19 FDA approved test OR complete resolution of symptoms at least 28 days prior to donation
- Must meet all the required FDA screening criteria for blood donation
As a part of the pre-donation process, donors will be required to provide their COVID-19 test result(s).
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